High Court gives 'last chance' to Navneet Rana, husband for hearing their plea

The Bombay High Court underlined that this was the "last chance" for the politician couple to make sure that their plea seeking revision in the 2022 Hanuman Chalisa row is heard.
High Court gives 'last chance' to Navneet Rana, husband for hearing their plea
Jaano Junction

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday warned former MP and BJP leader Navneet Rana and her MLA husband Ravi Rana that if there was any adjournment sought for the hearing of their plea, then costs would be imposed on them. The court underlined that this was the "last chance" for them to make sure that their plea seeking revision is heard.

The bench of Justice SM Modak was hearing a petition filed by the Ranas seeking discharge in the case registered by Mumbai police against them following the Hanuman Chalisa episode of 2022.

An FIR was registered against Navneet and Ravi for preventing a public servant from doing their duty in 2022. This case against the Ranas was registered under sections 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter a public servant from discharge of his duty) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

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High Court gives 'last chance' to Navneet Rana, husband for hearing their plea

It was alleged that the duo were resisting arrest and obstructing police personnel on April 23, 2022, who had visited their Khar residence after their announcement that they would chant the Hanuman Chalisa outside the residence of the then Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

A case was registered in the Hanuman Chalisa row as well, but Mumbai police has not filed chargesheet against the two in that case. The Ranas were arrested and behind bars in this case for about a month in 2022.

The duo had filed an application seeking discharge from the case which was rejected by special Sessions judge RN Rokde and the court is set to frame chances against them which will herald the trial against them.

In the plea filed before the high court, the duo said that the allegations against them were completely false, and the FIR was registered belatedly, and the investigation was tainted.

The Ranas, in their plea, said that the police had claimed that they had gone to arrest them for a case when the two had manhandled policemen and thus the case under section 353 of IPC was registered.

However, the politician couple have reasoned that in reality Khar police had not registered any FIR when they had come to arrest them and thus were not discharging official duty at the Rana residence.

On January 18, while granting relief to the Ranas, the high court had directed that the trial court defer the hearing and framing of charges procedure against them till the next date. However, on the next date, February 21, the plea could not be heard due to paucity of time.

Then on April 3, the plea was supposed to be listed, but did not get listed. So, on April 18, Rana's lawyer moved court seeking extension of the relief and the court obliged. It was extended till May 8. However, again on May 8, the plea was not listed, prompting Rana's lawyers to move court again on May 9, seeking that the relief be further extended.

While granting the relief on May 9, Justice Modak, however, observed "It seems that there is also some laxity on the part of the accused (Ranas). On two occasions, the matter was not listed and an extension of interim relief is sought not immediately." The bench had added, "By way of exception, I am extending interim relief."

In that order, the bench had further stated that "If the revision will not be argued in the near future, this court will not extend the interim protection." However, on Tuesday when the plea came up for hearing, the Ranas' counsel called in sick and a junior lawyer sought adjournment and extension of relief.

It was because of this issue that the bench said that this was the 'last chance' given to the Ranas to get their petition heard and adjourned the hearing of the plea by four weeks.

Source: India Today

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