Navneet, Ravi Rana get bail in Hanuman Chalisa row

They were granted bail on a bond of ₹50,000 and directed not to speak to the media about the case.

Published - May 04, 2022 12:22 pm IST - Mumbai

MP Navneet Rana at the Santacruz Station after she and her husband Ravi Rana were arrested. File

MP Navneet Rana at the Santacruz Station after she and her husband Ravi Rana were arrested. File | Photo Credit: PTI

The City Civil and Sessions Court on Wednesday granted bail to independent MP Navneet Kaur Rana and her MLA husband Ravi Rana in connection with the Hanuman Chalisa controversy.

Special judge R.N. Rokade granted bail to the couple on a bond of ₹50,000 and directed them not to speak to the media about the case.

The two were arrested on April 23 for declaring that they would recite Hanuman Chalisa outside ‘Matoshree’, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s residence.

They withdrew the plan because of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit and were sent to judicial custody by the Magistrate Court for 14 days on April 24. They have been booked under Sections 124A (sedition) and 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.

Senior advocate Aabad Ponda argued how reciting Hanuman Chalisa could become an act of sedition. He said, “People are reading it in London, but we are not allowed to read it in Mumbai.” He added the couple did not even go to ‘Matoshree’.

Special public prosecutor Pradeep Gharat opposed their bail and said they were politically powerful people and if released would sabotage the investigation.

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

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