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Police drop sedition charge against Sanjay Raut over ‘objectionable’ article against PM Modi

A case was registered against the Shiv Sena (UBT) leader for allegedly writing an objectionable article against PM Narendra Modi in his party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’

Police drop sedition charge against Sanjay Raut over ‘objectionable’ article against PM Modi

Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut (Photo: PTI)

MUMBAI: The Maharashtra police have dropped the charge of sedition from the case registered against Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut for writing an alleged objectionable article against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’, an official said on Tuesday.

Raut is the executive editor of ‘Saamana’.

The charge of sedition against Raut was dropped after the police sought legal opinion and held consultations, the official said.

The police in Yavatmal district had registered the case against the Sena (UBT) Rajya Sabha member on December 11 for his alleged remarks against PM Modi in his weekly column ‘Rokh Thok’ in ‘Saamana’.

The first information report (FIR) against Raut was registered at the Umarkhed police station in Yavatmal under sections 124 (A) (sedition), 153 (A) (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc) and 505 (2) (statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The case was filed based on a complaint lodged by Bharatiya Janata Party’s Yavatmal district coordinator, the police said.

“After seeking legal opinion in the case, the police decided to drop the sedition charge from the case,” the police official said.

“The Supreme Court has earlier passed rulings in this regard and after consulting a public prosecutor, the police took this decision of dropping the sedition charge,” he added.

Probe into the case is underway, the official said.

The law on sedition, which provides for a maximum jail term of life for creating “disaffection towards the government”, was brought into the penal code in 1890, a full 57 years before Independence and almost 30 years after the IPC came into being.

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