‘People in Public Life Expected to Act Responsibly’: Bombay High Court Dismisses Rana Couple’s Plea to Quash FIR
Navneet Rana and Ravi Rana were arrested on Saturday for declaring they would recite Hanuman Chalisa outside Matoshree. Their lawyer had alleged the case against them was politically motivated.
Mumbai: In a big setback for independent legislator couple Ravi Rana and Navneet Rana, the Bombay High Court on Monday dismissed their writ plea, stating that the action taken by the Mumbai police in connection with the Hanuman Chalisa controversy is ‘justified’. Earlier in the day, the couple had approached the Bombay High Court seeking quashing of an FIR filed against them. The couple was taken into custody on Saturday for declaring they would recite Hanuman Chalisa outside Matoshree, the residence of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. Yesterday, they were remanded to 14-day judicial custody by a magistrate court. Their lawyer had alleged the case against them was politically motivated.
What Did the Bombay HC Observe?
A bench comprising Justices PB Varale and SM Modak observed, “We find considerable merit in the submission of the Special Public Prosecutor. He was justified in making reference to the FIR, to the declaration of reciting religious versus in the personal residence of the Chief Minister. Such a declaration that a person would recite such religious versus at the residence of another person’s place or at a public place is a breach of the personal liberty of the other person. The state government is justified in the apprehension that it could create a law and order problem”.
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“Persons in public life are expected to act responsibly. With great power comes great responsibility. Those who are active in public life are expected to act responsibly is not an extra but basic am expectation”, Live Law quoted the bench order.
‘Officials Used ‘Casteist’ Slur, Denied Drinking Water Inside Jail’
In a letter to Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla, Navneet Rana has alleged that officers used a ‘casteist’ slur against her inside the jail. Rana claimed that she was denied access to drinking water and not allowed to use the washroom on account of her belonging to the Scheduled Caste.
“I emphatically state that basic human rights such as drinking water was denied to me on the ground that I belong to Scheduled Caste (Neechi Zaat)”, Amravati MP Navneet Rana said in a letter to Birla.
Furthermore, she added, “It’s my honest and bona fide belief that Shiv Sena under Uddhav Thackeray completely strayed from its avowed Hindutva principles for obvious reasons since it wanted to betray public mandate&form post-poll alliance with INC-NCP. To my shock and disbelief, the police staff present told me that I belong to Scheduled Caste & hence they will not give me water in the same glass. Thus, I was directly abused on the basis of my caste and it is only for this reason that no drinking water was provided.”
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