Bombay HC Quashes 2008 Violence Instigating Case Against Raj Thackeray

Bombay HC Quashes 2008 Violence Instigating Case Against Raj Thackeray

“In absence of any material on record to show instigation on the part of petitioner in the present crime, charge against petitioner is groundless,” Justice Nitish Suryawanshi observed.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Saturday, April 20, 2024, 10:42 PM IST
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MNS Chief Raj Thackeray | PTI

Mumbai: The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay high court has quashed a case registered against Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) leader Raj Thackeray in 2008 for allegedly instigating violence, observing that there is “absence of any material on record” against him.

“In absence of any material on record to show instigation on the part of petitioner in the present crime, charge against petitioner is groundless,” Justice Nitish Suryawanshi observed.

The HC was hearing a petition filed by Thackeray challenging the orders of the magistrate and the sessions judge refusing to discharge him in the 16-year-old case. Justice Suryavanshi also noted that lower courts have failed to appreciate certain “vital aspects and had erred in rejecting” Thackeray’s discharge plea.

A case was registered on October 21, 2008, in Osmanabad against certain persons claiming to be MNS workers. The people were sloganeering, praising Thackeray and demanding his release from custody. They allegedly pelted stones on an MSRTC bus.

In 2008, Thackeray had made speeches against migrant workers from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh taking up jobs of people from Maharashtra. Multiple cases were registered against him for allegedly instigating party workers who attacked some north Indian candidates appearing for the railway entrance exam in Mumbai.

His advocates Rajendra Shirodkar and Sayaji Nangre argued that the MNS leader was arrested on the day of the alleged incident from the Public Works Department Guest House in Ratnagiri and brought to Mumbai and produced before magistrate court. He was granted bail but was immediately taken in custody by Dombivali police, where he was again sent to custody.

The advocates submitted that Thackeray was not present at the scene of offence. Also, the alleged provocative speech has not been placed on record by the prosecution.

Agreeing with the argument, the HC said, “Merely because co-accused raised slogans that is not sufficient to implicate petitioner for abetment of crime.” The court also took note of the fact that several cases have been dropped against Thackeray under similar circumstances. Hemce, the HC quashed the lower courts’ order terming them as “unsustainable in law “.

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