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Maharashtra court grants bail to Union Minister Narayan Rane in slap remark case

The court granted Rane cash bail of Rs 15,000, and imposed a condition to appear in the Mahad City police station on August 30 and September 13.

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A local court in Maharashtra has granted bail to Union Minister Narayan Rane just before the midnight of August 24 in the case registered against him in connection with his alleged “slap” remark against Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

The court granted Rane cash bail of Rs 15,000, and imposed a condition to appear in the Mahad City police station on August 30 and September 13. Rane, 69, was arrested for his controversial comment against Uddhav Thackeray at a public meeting on Monday during his “Jan Aashirwad Yatra”.

Police on Tuesday took Narayan Rane into custody after his anticipatory bail was rejected by Ratnagiri Court and he got no relief from Bombay High Court.

After this, Narayan Rane was produced in the court of Mahad magistrate and was granted bail at around 11.30 pm.

The matter was heard by Judge Sheikh Babaso S Patil. The court, while directing Narayan Rane not to commit any such offence, also asked the police to give seven days’ notice before collecting the voice samples of the Union minister.

The police had initially sought police custody, which was rejected by the court. After this the court remanded  Rane to judicial custody for 14 days. But the counsel for the Union Minister moved the bail application, which was later granted.

Senior counsel Rajendra Shirodkar, who appeared for Rane in Mahad, argued against custody, saying no custodial interrogation was required. He said the arrest was unlawful as no notice was issued to him by the police first to seek his explanation, though mandated by the law for offences which, like the ones invoked against him, attract less than seven years’ imprisonment.

Section 41A of CrPC requires a notice to be issued to a person for his or her appearance at the police station to give an explanation before an arrest. A person can be arrested only after citing reason.

The FIR against Rane was registered  by Mahad city’s Yuva Sena party leader Siddhesh Patekar under IPC sections 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot), 159 (commit an affray), 504 (intentional insult to provoke breach of peace), 505 (public mischief) and 506 (criminal intimidation). FIRs with similar sections were registered at other police stations as well.

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Before being taken into custody, Narayan Rane filed a petition in the Bombay High Court on Tuesday, challenging the FIRs lodged over his remarks, seeking protection from arrest. Rane’s petition, filed through advocate Aniket Nikam, sought a direction to quash the FIR. BJP leader Rane also requested an interim order to provide protection from arrest or any coercive action.

The petition, filed before a bench of Justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamadar, sought urgent hearing on Tuesday itself. However, the bench refused to hear it and said that mention (of the petition) is not permissible. The bench said that the lawyer has to follow the procedure. The court said, “File an application for urgent hearing before the Registry Department and then we will consider.” The petition has challenged the FIRs registered against Rane in Mahad in Pune, Nashik and Raigad.

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