A magistrate court in Maharashtra’s Raigad district has discharged Union minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Narayan Rane in a case pertaining to his controversial remark made in 2021 against the then chief minister Udhav Thackeray.
An FIR was registered against Rane in 2021 at Mahad in Raigad under Indian Penal Code Sections 189 (threat of injury to public servant), 504 (intentional insult to provoke breach of public peace) and 505 (statements conducive to public mischief).
Rane was arrested from the coastal Ratnagiri district for his remark that he would have slapped Thackeray over the latter’s ignorance of the year of India’s independence.
He was later granted bail by a court. Chief Judicial Magistrate (Raigad-Alibaug) S W Ugale on Saturday discharged the BJP leader in the case. ”Rane allegedly made a statement on the (then) chief minister’s conduct. He didn’t make any statement which was promoting enmity between different groups on the ground of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, caste or community or any other ground whatsoever,” his lawyer Satish Maneshinde had submitted during the hearing of the discharge application.
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Furthermore, the alleged statement was not likely to cause any disharmony or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities, the advocate had argued.
The case was politically motivated and hence, bad in law, Maneshinde had said.
Rane faces four FIRs across Maharashtra over his controversial remark.
The Union minister had said, ”It is shameful that the chief minister (Uddhav Thackeray) does not know the year of independence. He leaned back to enquire about the count of years of independence during his speech. Had I been there, I would have given (him) a tight slap.” He had claimed Thackeray forgot the year of independence during his August 15 address to the people of the state.
Rane had defended his remarks against Thackeray, saying he did not commit any crime by making the comments.
Thackeray had served as the chief minister of Maharashtra from November 2019 to June 2022.