Hanuman Chalisa row | Court seeks Mumbai police’s response to bail plea of Ranas

Force told to file reply on or before April 29

April 26, 2022 03:38 pm | Updated 04:14 pm IST - Mumbai

File photo of Navneet Kaur Rana with husband MLA Ravi Rana during a press conference in Mumbai.

File photo of Navneet Kaur Rana with husband MLA Ravi Rana during a press conference in Mumbai. | Photo Credit: PTI

The City Civil and Sessions Court on Tuesday directed the Mumbai police to file its reply to the bail plea filed by independent MP Navneet Kaur Rana and her husband, MLA Ravi Rana, in the Hanuman Chalisa row.

The Ranas were arrested on April 23 for declaring that they would recite Hanuman Chalisa outside the residence of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. They withdrew the plan because of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit and were on April 24 sent to judicial custody by a magistrate court for 14 days.

Special judge R.N. Rokade directed the Mumbai police to file its reply on or before April 29.

They filed their bail plea through advocate Rizwan Merchant. The FIR booked them under Section 124A (sedition) and Section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) of the Indian Penal Code. The plea mentioned that Section 124A carried a minimum sentence of seven years and a maximum punishment of life term. Therefore, it was outside the jurisdiction of the magistrate court to decide.

Ms. Rana is Lok Sabha MP from Amravati in eastern Maharashtra and is currently lodged at Byculla women's jail. Mr. Rana is MLA from Badnera in Amravati district and has been lodged at Arthur Road Jail.

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