Hanuman Chalisa Row: Navneet Rana, Ravi Rana Delaying Trial, Says Court; Charges To Be Framed On January 19

Hanuman Chalisa Row: Navneet Rana, Ravi Rana Delaying Trial, Says Court; Charges To Be Framed On January 19

The couple was embroiled in a controversy after they announced they would recite Hanuman Chalisa outside the home of then chief minister Uddhav Thackeray.

Charul Shah JoshiUpdated: Friday, January 12, 2024, 08:44 PM IST
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MP Navneet Rana, MLA Ravi Rana | PTI

Mumbai: A special court has rejected a plea by Lok Sabha MP Navneet Rana and her MLA husband Ravi Rana seeking exemption from personal appearance on Thursday in the case over chanting Hanuman Chalisa. The couple has been asked to remain present on January 19, when the charges will be framed.

The court said, “Despite the directions of this court, the accused failed to appear before this court. It seems that they are delaying the trial.”

Court Denies Request For Exemption From Personal Appearance

The court was scheduled to frame the charges against the Ranas in the case registered for allegedly obstructing police officials from doing their job, who had gone to arrest the couple after the controversy in 2022. However, the two did not turn up but their lawyer sought exemption from personal appearance, claiming they are held up in urgent work in the constituency of Amravati.

Disappointed with this, special judge RN Rokade said, “It is to be noted that the accused simply averred in the application that they are held up in urgent work… In the backdrop of vague application, I am of the considered view that sufficient reasons are not put forth for granting personal exemption.”

What Is The Case?

The couple was embroiled in a controversy after they announced they would recite Hanuman Chalisa outside the home of then chief minister Uddhav Thackeray. However, they dropped the plan, citing a visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the city the next day. 

The two were booked under sections 353 (assault or criminal force to deter a public servant from discharge of his duty). A second case was registered with the Khar police station against the couple after the two resisted arrest.

After the incident, they were arrested in April 23, 2022 under sections 124A (sedition), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups), and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.

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