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Sedition case | Kangana, sister granted interim protection from arrest

The Bombay High Court  

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday granted interim protection from arrest to actor Kangana Ranaut and her sister Rangoli Chandel till January 8, and directed them to appear before the Bandra police on the same day. The duo has been charged with sedition and promoting hatred and outrage among communities.

A Division Bench of Justices S.S. Shinde and M.S. Karnik also directed the sisters to not make any statements or posts on social media which are related to the case. The Bench was hearing a plea filed by them to quash the complaint 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.

The Bench asked why Section 124A had been added to the FIR. “Are we treating our citizens like this... If there was substance in the complaint we understand that an FIR has been registered with other sections... But why are they (the police) invoking 124A? Workshops need to be organised for police officers to know which sections be invoked.” The court also asked if 124A was invoked because the actor and her sister did not fall in line with the government.

Senior advocate Rizwan Merchant, representing the complainant, said, “You can criticise the government but you can’t go personal...” He said, “three summons have been issued to them... why can’t they come and record their statements.”

The court then asked advocate Rizwan Siddiquee for the sisters why the summons were not answered and when they will return from Hyderabad. The lawyer informed the Bench that the duo would return on January 8. The Bench then directed them to appear before the Bandra police the day they return, between 12 and 2 p.m. It added that no coercive steps will be taken against them.

Mr. Merchant also informed the court that the copy of the petition served to him does not have the signature of petitioners. The matter will be heard on January 11.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2021 4:42:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/sedition-case-bombay-high-court-grants-kangana-ranaut-interim-protection-from-arrest/article33168912.ece

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