A special court here is likely to decide the bail plea of jailed Independent MP Navneet Rana and her MLA husband Ravi Rana on May 2. The couple had moved the court seeking bail in an FIR registered by Mumbai police under provisions related to sedition and promoting enmity following their plan to recite Hanuman Chalisa outside Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s private residence here.
On Saturday, both prosecution and defence completed their arguments, after which Special Judge RN Rokade reserved the order for Monday. The bail plea of the legislator couple contended that a call to recite Hanuman Chalisa outside ‘Matoshree', the CM’s private residence in Bandra East, cannot be said to be calculated to promote feelings of enmity or hatred.
It also said the charge under section 153(A) cannot be sustained, adding that there was no intention on the part of the applicants to instigate or create hatred by reciting Hanuman Chalisa near the CM’s private home. Their bail plea also claimed that by no stretch of the imagination can the acts of the applicants be stated to constitute the offence of sedition.
It added that Mumbai police had issued a notice under section 149 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and the applicant had complied with it and had not stepped out of her residence. Amravati Lok Sabha MP Navneet Rana and her husband Ravi Rana, who is MLA from Badnera, had eventually dropped their plan to recite the Hanuman Chalisa outside Matoshree on April 23 citing the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Mumbai for an award ceremony the next day.