Sedition cases | Kangana, sister’s interim protection in sedition case extended

Bollywood Actor Kangana Ranaut. File   | Photo Credit: Arunangsu Roy Chowdhury

The Bombay High Court on Monday extended the interim protection granted to actor Kangana Ranaut and her sister Rangoli Chandel till January 25 in a case where they are charged with sedition and promoting hatred and outrage among communities.

A Division Bench of justices SS Shinde and Manish Pitale was hearing a plea filed by them to quash the FIR and order by magistrate court in October last to register the FIR. The complaint was filed against them by Munnawarali alias Sahil Ahsrafali Sayyed, a feature film casting director.

They have been charged with Sections 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc), 295 A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), 124 A (sedition) of the Indian Penal Code.

Government counsel Deepak Thakare told the court that the sisters appeared before the Bandra police station on January 8 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.. He said, “Ms. Ranaut left even before we could complete the interrogation, claiming she has professional commitments. We will call her again for interrogation.”

However, Justice Pitale said, “She [Ranaut] was there for two hours. Is this not enough? How many more hours do you [police] need for cooperation?”

Mr. Thakare said the police want to question her for three more days.

Senior advocate Rizwan Merchant, representing Mr. Sayyed, sought time to file his affidavit.

Justice Shinde said, “The interim relief by way of no coercive action against the petitioners shall continue till then. The police shall not call the petitioners till that day.”

After which Justice Shinde said the police can investigate other cases until then.“We anyway have serious reservations about invoking section 124 (A) in this case.”

Mr. Merchant and Mr. Thakare told the court that despite an assurance given by Ms. Ranaut, she had not stopped posting on social media about the current case. Mr. Merchant said, “On the day of being questioned by the police, she went to the extent of saying that she is being tortured.”

The court said it would consider all these issues on January 25 and directed the police not to summon them for questioning till then.

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Printable version | Mar 1, 2021 4:20:49 AM |

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