Actress Kangana Ranaut and her sister Rangoli Chandel filed a petition in the Bombay High Court on Monday, seeking to quash an FIR registered against them by Mumbai Police for allegedly “trying to create hatred and communal tension” through their posts on social media.
The FIR, under sedition charges, was registered pursuant to orders passed by the Bandra magistrate’s court directing the police to carry out an inquiry against Ranaut and her sister following a complaint lodged against them.
“Kangana and Rangoli have filed a petition in the Bombay High Court for quashing of the FIR and the magistrate’s order,” their advocate Rizwan Siddiquee told PTI.
He said the petition has also sought the court to stay the summons issued against the duo asking them to appear before the police for questioning, and also a direction to the police to not take any coercive steps against them.
Mumbai police last week summoned Ranaut and her sister for the third time to record their statements on November 23 and 24.
The police have filed the FIR against Ranaut and her sister under IPC sections 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race), 295-A (deliberate acts hurting religious sentiments) and 124-A (sedition), 34 (common intention).
Magistrate Jaydeo Ghule, on October 17, passed the order directing the police to conduct an inquiry and register FIR on a complaint filed before the court by casting director and fitness trainer Munnawarali Sayyed, seeking action against Ranaut and her sister for their posts on social media.
In his complaint, Sayyed pointed out to the court several posts published by Ranuat and her sister on their social media accounts on actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death case, an incident of lynching of two seers in Maharashtra’s Palghar district, and a post comparing Mumbai with Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
The complaint said an investigation was required to ascertain the real motive behind such posts that allegedly create hatred and communal tensions.
Agreeing with the complaint, the magistrate in his order said: “Prima facie, on perusal of the complaint and submissions, I found a cognisable offence has been committed by the accused persons and a thorough investigation is necessary.”
The police on the same day registered an FIR against Ranaut and Rangoli and subsequently issued summons on two occasions asking the sisters to appear before them for recording of their statement.
The sisters, however, responded to the summons saying they cannot come to Mumbai as they were in Himachal Pradesh for a wedding function at home.
Following this, a third summons was issued last week asking Ranuat to appear before the police on November 23 and Chandel on November 24.