The state government yesterday assured the Bombay High Court that it will “not take any coercive action till September 17” against Union Minister Narayan Rane in the first information report (FIR) filed in Nashik over his ‘slap Uddhav’ remarks. The statement was made before a division bench of Justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamadar, which was hearing a petition filed by Rane seeking quashing of the FIR at Nashik and all other cases that may be filed henceforth. Pending hearing of the petition, Rane sought protection from arrest.
Senior counsel Amit Desai, appearing for the state government, told the judges that the government will not take coercive action against Rane in the Nashik FIR till September 17 . Rane's advocate Satish Maneshinde sought protection in all the cases that may arise out of the alleged statement. The petition mentions three FIRs at Pune, Nashik and Mahad. However, only the Nashik FIR copy has been attached with the petition.
Maneshinde said, “We are yet to receive copies of the other FIRs and are seeking protection in all the cases that may emanate from the alleged press conference (on Monday).”
Desai opposed the relief saying that a blanket statement of protection cannot be made as the petition only mentions the Nashik FIR. The judges took Desai’s statement on record and asked Maneshinde to amend the petition and include all the FIRs registered so far. After filing of the petition, a fourth FIR was registered at Thane. “You (Rane) amend the plea and bring all the FIRs. Then we will consider the issue of protection,” Justice Shinde said.
Desai also said that Rane should not make such statements which may have repercussions on the society. Maneshinde, however, refused to give such a commitment saying: “I cannot give any such undertaking as the question is about his freedom of speech and liberty.” The HC has kept the petition for hearing on September 17.
Rane’s petition said that he was “falsely implicated” in the crime die to political vengeance. “There is a possibility of more such FIRs to be registered against the petitioner in different parts of the state out of political vengeance and grudge,” the petition said.
He alleged that the Nashik police commissioner, instead of following due process of law, was “absolutely working as per the guidance and under the pressure of the ruling party in the state of Maharashtra”.
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