Justice R.N. Rokade granted bail to the couple on a bond of ₹50,000 and ordered them not to speak to the media about the case. A couple got arrested on April 23 for declaring that they would recite Hanuman Chalisa outside ‘Matoshree’, Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray’s residence.
They withdrew the plan because of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit and were sent to judicial custody by the Magistrate Court for 14 days on April 24. They have been booked under Sections 124A IPC (sedition) and 153A IPC (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc, and doing acts prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony) of the Indian Penal Code.
Senior Advocate Aabad Ponda argued how reciting Hanuman Chalisa could become an act of sedition. Aabad said – “People are reading it in London, but we are not allowed to read it in Mumbai.” He added the couple did not even go to ‘Matoshree’.
Special public prosecutor Pradeep Gharat opposed their bail and said they were politically powerful people and if released would sabotage the investigation.
Ms. Rana is the Lok Sabha MP from Amravati in eastern Maharashtra and is currently lodged in Byculla women’s jail. Mr. Rana is the MLA from Badnera in Amravati district and is in Arthur Road Jail.
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