Marathi actor Ketaki Chitale, who was arrested last year for her social media post against nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, has filed an application before the Bombay High Court praying that the NCP chief be added as a respondent to her plea seeking quashing of the cases against her.
The first FIR was filed against Chitale in May at Kalwa Police station in neighbouring Thane district. She was arrested on May 14 and was released on bail in June by Thane sessions court. She has a total 22 cases filed against her in the entire state.
She then approached the HC seeking quashing of the FIRs. She had also prayed that all the FIRs be clubbed. On August 22 last year, the HC had clubbed all the FIRs filed against the actor and pharmacy student Nikhil Bhamre in the state for their social media post against NCP chief Sharad Pawar.
Her petition seeks quashing of multiple FIRs registered against her in a large number of police stations on the basis of a single alleged cause of action relating to a poem mentioning a “Pawar” which was allegedly posted on her Facebook account.
What does Chitale's petition say?
Chitale’s application says that a review of the various FIRs reveal that the complainants' grievance against her stems from their belief that the "Pawar" referred to in the social media post is none other than “Sharad Pawar”. Most of the “first informants have candidly admitted that they are associated with Nationalist Congress Party”, adds her plea.
“Surprisingly Sharad Pawar has not filed any FIR against the petitioner. Therefore while examining the question as to whether FIRs are tenable in the absence of any grievance from Sharad Pawar, it would be just and fair to implead Sharad Pawar as a party respondent to the petition,” adds her plea.
Saying that “Sharad Pawar is a proper and necessary party to the proceedings of this petition”, her application states that, “It would be just and fair to grant leave to amend the petition to join him as a party respondent” in the interest of justice.
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