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MP Navneet Rana, MLA husband Ravi Rana granted bail by Mumbai court in Hanuman Chalisa row

The Rana couple was arrested on April 23 and produced before a holiday court the next day. The court sent them to judicial custody till May 6.

The Rana couple was arrested on April 23 and produced before a holiday court the next day. The court sent them to judicial custody till May 6.

A special court in Mumbai on Wednesday granted bail to  Independent MP Navneet Rana and her husband MLA Ravi Rana, who were arrested on charges, including that of sedition, for announcing the chanting of Hanuman Chalisa at the private residence of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

The Rana couple was arrested on April 23 and produced before a holiday court the next day. The court sent them to judicial custody till May 6. They were booked under various provisions of the IPC, including charges of sedition and promoting enmity.

On Monday, the court had adjourned the order to Wednesday. Today, special judge R N Rokade allowed their bail plea.

The court said the applicants shall not commit a similar offence while on bail, and not address the press on any subject related to the case.

The couple had in their bail plea, filed through advocates Rizwan Merchant and Abad Ponda, claimed that the call to recite the Hanuman Chalisa outside ‘Matoshree’, the CM’s private residence, cannot be said to be an act to promote feelings of enmity or hatred and the charge under IPC section 153(A) cannot be sustained.

They also submitted that by no stretch of the imagination, can the acts of the applicants be stated to constitute the offence of sedition.

The police, represented by special public prosecutor Pradeep Gharat, had opposed the bail plea, saying while on the face of it the couple’s plan looked innocent, but it was, in fact, a big plot to challenge the ruling government.

The police claimed that the opposition BJP in the state and political opponents of Thackeray were trying to create an atmosphere to show that the chief minister was against Hindus and not sponsoring the cause of Hinduism.

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