3 April 2023 6:20 AM GMT
The Chief Judicial Magistrate, Raigad-Alibag held that Union Minister Narayan Rane’s “slap” remark against former CM Uddhav Thackeray was unparliamentary, but did not amount to criminal intimidation or promoting enmity between two groups.“He made unparliamentary remark against the then Chief Minister of the State and being an influential figure in the political arena and having...
The Chief Judicial Magistrate, Raigad-Alibag held that Union Minister Narayan Rane’s “slap” remark against former CM Uddhav Thackeray was unparliamentary, but did not amount to criminal intimidation or promoting enmity between two groups.
“He made unparliamentary remark against the then Chief Minister of the State and being an influential figure in the political arena and having long standing experience in politics, very well knew the outcome of the said word and what will happen thereafter in society," the CJM said.
CJM SW Ugale discharged Rane in a case for his remarks observing that the charges against him are “groundless”.
"The materials and documents on record even if taken at their face value, do not disclose the existence of all the ingredients constituting the alleged offences. Therefore, the charges against the accused are found groundless".
In August 2021, during his Jan Aashirwad Yatra in Raigad, Rane had said that he would have slapped Uddhav Thackeray, alleging that the then CM forgot the year of independence during his Independence Day address. Several FIRs were filed in various places against Rane for remarks.
In the present case registered at Mahad, Judicial Magistrate First Class had issued process under sections 153A(1-b) (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), 506 (criminal intimidation), 504(2) (intentional insult to provoke breach of public peace) and 505 (statements conducive to public mischief) of the IPC.
Rane moved an application seeking discharge in the case.
The CJM said that Rane had knowledge and intention of the outcome of his words.
“He is expected to know and perceive the meaning conveyed by the words he spoke. So, whatever statement made by the accused, had made not only with knowledge but with intention too and that knowledge and intention can be gathered from the words itself which he uttered in regard to the then Chief Minister of the State and surrounding circumstances.”
The CJM, however, noted that Rane did not refer to any community in his statement, and the informant was not an aggrieved person.
The CJM said that there is no targeted and non-targeted group in Rane’s remark and hence basic ingredients of section 153A and section 505(2) IPC are missing.
“Whatever finds in chargesheet and documents submitted along with it shall be taken into consideration on its face value without stretching imagination. So, there is no targeted and non-targeted group or community in the words spoken by the accused. The very basic requirement to attract the offences punishable under section 153A and 505(2) of the IPC is missing,” the court said.
Regarding the accusation of criminal intimidation, the CJM said the alleged threat “if it was me, I would have slapped him” is not a concrete or immediate threat amounting to criminal intimidation. Threats in the form of If and then do not fall under section 506, the CJM added.
“I will slap him or am going to slap him may be considered as immediate threat and falls under the terminology of ‘Criminal intimidation” but not the so called threat in the form of if and then. The statement made by the accused can be said as controversial and politically insensitive which is not expected from a person who holds post of Union Minister,” the CJM concluded.
Therefore, the charges were not made out against Rane, the court said.
Case Title: State of Maharashtra v. Narayan Tatya Rane
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