Independent MP Navneet Rana and her MLA-husband Ravi Rana have denied that they have breached any bail conditions in the sedition FIR filed against them. The couple was booked after they said that they would recite Hanuman Chalisa outside the Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's personal residence, Matoshree.
The couple has filed an affidavit on Wednesday before the Special Court opposing the plea filed by the government seeking cancellation of their bail and issuance of non-bailable warrants alleging that they breached bail conditions.
They were granted bail by the special court on May 4. One of their bail conditions was that they would not address the press (print or visual media) on any of the subjects which relate to the sedition case.
Their affidavit contends that, while speaking to the media, they were merely talking about their 12-day ordeal in judicial custody and about a notice posted by the BMC outside their house while they were in custody.
They have pointed out, in the affidavit, the Supreme Court's recent order on sedition wherein the apex court said that it "hopes and expects that state governments will restrain from registering any FIR, continuing any investigation or taking coercive measures by invoking Section 124 of IPC while the aforesaid provision of law is under consideration."
“The Respondents (Ranas) deny having made any statement to the media pertaining to this case. The respondents had gone through an ordeal of being in judicial custody for 12 days and had narrated the said ordeal. Thus the respondents have not breached any bail condition..,” read their affidavit.
Special public prosecutor Pradeep Gharat had argued last week that the bail granted to Ranas stood automatically cancelled when they made further allegations against Chief Minister of Maharashtra Uddhav Thackeray in the media.
Gharat had then read out Navneet Rana's statements to the media in which she is allegedly seen challenging the Chief Minister to stand for elections against her, and to "show" him the power of women. Also adding that Hanuman Bhakts would teach a lesson.
On April 23, the Khar police had registered an FIR against Ranas under various sections of the IPC for promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race etc, sedition and under the Bombay Police Act for allegedly trying to create a law-and-order situation.
The special court will hear state’s plea for their bail cancellation on June 15.