A Magistrate's Court in Raigad, Maharashtra has granted bail to the Union Minister Narayan Rane holding that his arrest was justified but custodial interrogation was not needed.
Rane was arrested over his alleged derogatory remarks against Maharashtra's Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray for which FIRs were registered against under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 189 (threat of injury to public servant), 504 (intentional insult to provoke break of public peace) and 505 (statements conducive to public mischief) and Section 153A (1)(provoke to riot).
Magistrate SS Patil held that offences under sections 153A and 505(2) were cognizable offences and a warrant was not required to arrest a person for these alleged offences and considering Rane was a Union Minister, police were expected to be around him. Considering these reasons, his arrest was justified, the judge observed.
Also, the Court found that Rane made the statement before the public and the whole episode went viral on social media.
Narayan Rane's advocate Rajendra Shirodkar contended that the accused was a senior citizen with roots in society and hence, would not abscond. Also, Rane would not repeat such statements which could cause public disharmony. However, the minister refused to give an undertaking to this effect.
The Court in its order directed Rane to furnish a surety of Rs. 15,000 and to cooperate with the probe into the case and if the police want a voice sample of the minister then he should assist. With such assurance, the Court granted bail to the BJP leader.
The Union Minister reportedly said that Uddhav Thackeray forgot the year of India's independence and had to ask an aide during his speech on August 15th, on which Rane commented, "Had I been there, I would have given him a slap."
With inputs from PTI