Hanuman Chalisa row: Court sends Navneet, Ravi to 14-day judicial custody

On Saturday, Shiv Sena workers protested outside the residence of Navneet and Ravi Rana who had announced their plan to chant "Hanuman Chalisa" outside Matoshree, the private residence of Chief Minster Uddhav Thackeray.
Hanuman Chalisa row: Court sends Navneet, Ravi to 14-day judicial custody
Rizwan Merchant, advocate of MP Navneet Rana and MLA Ravi RanaANI

Mumbai: Amravati Member of Parliament (MP) Navneet Rana and MLA Ravi Rana were sent to judicial custody for 14 days by the Holiday and Sunday court of Metropolitan Magistrate, Bandra.

The MP-MLA couple's application will be heard by the court on April 29. The Mumbai Police has asked them to file their say on the bail plea on April 27. Meanwhile, Speaking to reporters, Rizwan Merchant, the advocate of Navneet and Ravi accused the police of registering the second FIR against them under section 353 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

"After the FIR was registered by Khar Police Station on the complaint of Navneet and Ravi Rana against the other side, a second FIR appears to be registered by the police against Navneet Kaur Rana and her husband Ravi Rana i.e. charge of 353 IPC," Merchant said.

"If the charge of 353 IPC was made out with respect to the incident at the residence, there is no reason why that charge couldn't have been added in the first FIR of 500. The arrest memo also does not show the charge of 353," he explained.

The lawyer attacked the public prosecutor Pradip Gharat also and said it is the first time when the prosecutor argued that the case of the accused falls under section 124A, which is sedition.

"For the first time, public prosecutor Pradip Gharat, obviously on instructions from the police department argued that the case of the accused falls under 124A, which is sedition," Merchant said.

He further said, "Hanuman Chalisa is nothing but praise of Lord Ram and Hanuman... the place where Hanuman Chalisa was supposed to be chanted was outside the house of people who claim to love Lord Ram; the question of wanting to chant Hanuman Chalisa should not be affecting them at all."

"Therefore, chanting Hanuman Chalisa cannot fall under section 153A... this entire case is bogus. They have a very strong feeling that they are standing on loose ground. They know of the possibility of release on bail and have thus prepared the second FIR," he added.

On Saturday, Shiv Sena workers protested outside the residence of Navneet and Ravi Rana who had announced their plan to chant "Hanuman Chalisa" outside Matoshree, the private residence of Chief Minster Uddhav Thackeray.

A large crowd yesterday gathered outside Navneet and Ravi Rana's residence waving flags with the aim of preventing them from reaching the Chief Minister's residence.

Earlier Ravi Rana had said, "I requested Uddhav Thackeray to recite Hanuman Chalisa on Hanuman Jayanti. CM doesn't come to the Vidharbha region.

He hasn't come to Mantralaya for two years. With all these problems in Maharashtra, I asked him to recite Hanuman Chalisa. Uddhav Thackeray has forgotten Hindutva." Earlier on Saturday, police arrested Navneet and Ravi Rana who were then taken to the Khar Police Station.

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