MP Navneet Rana and her husband MLA Ravi Rana have denied breach of any bail conditions in the sedition FIR against them for wanting to chant the Hanuman Chalisa outside the Maharashtra Chief Minister, Uddhav Thackarey's personal residence.
In an affidavit before the Special Court the couple claimed they were merely talking about their 12-day ordeal in judicial custody and about a notice posted by the BMC outside their house while they were in custody.
They also cited the Supreme Court's recent order on sedition wherein the apex court said that it "hopes and expects that state governments will restrain from registering any FIR, continuing any investigation or taking coercive measures by invoking Section 124 of IPC while the aforesaid provision of law is under consideration."
The Ranas field the affidavit in response to a notice issued by the Special Court on the prosecution's plea to issue non-bailable warrants against the duo, alleging breach of the bail condition imposed on them. They were granted bail on May 4 and according to one of their bail conditions they would not address the press (print or visual media) on any of the subjects which relate to the sedition case.
Claiming that the Khar police failed to disclose who the alleged statement were made to, the Ranas said in the affidavit, "The Respondents deny having made any statement to the media pertaining to this case. The respondents had gone through an ordeal of being in judicial custody for 12 days and had narrated the said ordeal. Thus the respondents have not breached any bail condition.."
Seeking action against the duo, SPP Pradeep Gharat had submitted that the bail granted to the respondents/accused stood automatically cancelled when they made further allegations against the Chief Minister of Maharashtra Uddhav Thackarey in the media.
Gharat read out Rana's statements to the media in which she is allegedly seen challenging the Chief Minister to stand for elections against her, and to "show" him the power of women. Also adding that Hanuman Bhakts would teach a lesson.
On April 23, the duo was booked by the Khar police under IPC Sections 153 (A) (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race etc), and 124A (sedition), besides provisions of the Bombay Police Act for allegedly trying to create a law-and-order situation by wanting to chant the Hanuman Chalisa outside the CM's personal residence.
In the order granting them bail on May 4, the special court observed that independent MP Navneet Rana and MLA Ravi Rana had crossed that line of freedom and speech in their interviews to the media, but their acts were prima facie not seditious. The court had, however, directed them against repeating their acts.
The matter will now be listed after the vacation on June 15.