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Don’t make remarks against ppl of UP, Bihar: HC to MNS chief

Raj Thackeray1

New Delhi: Delhi High Court today asked MNS chief Raj Thackeray to refrain from making statements against non-Maharashtrian people, as it reserved order on his plea for quashing of summons issued against him for allegedly making a hate speech in 2012.

“No one has a problem with any individual promoting his state or language. You promote Maharashtra, no one has problem with that, but don’t interfere in the rights of others,” Justice Manmohan Singh said.

The bench observed “everyone has their own rights and he (Thackeray) should not say such things against the people of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand.”

During the hearing, Arunabh Chowdhury, counsel appearing for the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) head, said no prior sanction for prosecution from the Centre or the state was taken under section 196 of CrPC, before the magistrate took cognizance of the offence of promoting enmity between different groups against his client under sections 153 (a) and 153(b) of the IPC.

He argued that even the police has filed a closure report in the case but magistrate rejected it and summoned Thackeray.

“This summoning order is bad in law and no requisite procedure was followed and is without any jurisdiction. This summoning order as well as the FIR lodged at Dwarka police station should be quashed,” he said.

When the bench asked the counsel for Thackeray whether a probe is being carried out in the case, he replied in affirmative and said no hate speeches were given by his client in Azad Maidan or at any other instance.

Complainant Mithilesh Kumar Pandey, on whose complaint the summons were issued by the court, accepted that there is a mandatory provision for prior sanction from Centre or state government for summoning any accused for these offences.

“There are more than 173 FIRs pending against Thackeray with respect to hate speeches and he has never appeared before any court, or no one from MNS has appeared. Trial should not be stalled in the matter. Summons can be held back for some time till the requisite sanctions are received,” Pandey said.

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