The Bombay High Court has quashed an order passed by the Court of Sangli District whereby it rejected the discharge application of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) Chief Raj Thackeray in a 2008 case related to the protest by his party workers.

A Single Bench of Justice Amit Borkar said, “ was obligatory on the revisional Court to prima facie discuss/indicate material which, according to the Sessions Court, is against the petitioner. In the absence of prima facie reference to the material against the petitioner, the revision could not have been dismissed based on vague reasons that the material on record is sufficient to indicate involvement of the petitioner in the offence alleged. Perusal of the order of revisional Court, it does not appear to have referred any material which, according to the revisional Court, is sufficient to indicate involvement of the petitioner.”

The Bench further said that it is, therefore, necessary that proceedings be remanded back to the revisional Court for a decision afresh in accordance with the law.

Senior Advocate Rajendra Shirodkar appeared for the petitioner while APP Arfan Sait appeared for the respondent.

In this case, the petitioner challenged the order passed by the Additional Sessions Judge, Islampur dismissing the revision application arising out of the application for discharge filed before the Magistrate for offences punishable under Sections 143, 109, and 117 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 7 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1932 and Section 135 of the Maharashtra Police Act, 1951.

Raj Thackeray was arrested in the year 2008 in connection with an agitation launched by his party against North Indians residing in Maharashtra. The party had claimed North Indians deprived the "sons of the soil" of getting employment in the state and after Thackeray's arrest, riots broke out in Mumbai, Jalgaon, Aurangabad, and other parts of the State and several cases were registered against him and his supporters.

The High Court in the above regard directed, “The petitioner is permitted to file appropriate application for stay of warrants issued against the petitioner. If such application is filed, the revisional Court shall decide the same in accordance with law expeditiously.”

Accordingly, the Court quashed and set aside the order and remanded back the proceedings to the Additional Sessions Judge.

Cause Title- Swararaj Alias Raj Shrikant Thackeray v. The State of Maharashtra

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