The Bombay High Court on Tuesday refused to entertain a petition filed by Union minister Narayan Rane seeking protection from arrest over his remarks against Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
Narayan Rane’s petition, filed through his counsel Aniket Nikam, sought a direction from the high court for quashing of multiple FIRs (first information reports) that were filed against the Union minister over his controversial remarks.
Narayan Rane also sought an interim order granting him protection from arrest or any coercive action. The petition was mentioned before a division bench of Justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamadar seeking urgent hearing on Tuesday itself.
However, the bench refused to hear it saying that mentioning (of the petition) was not allowed. The bench asked the lawyer to follow the procedure.
The high court asked Narayan Rane’s lawyer to file a praecipe, which is an application for urgent hearing of a case.
“I have scanned copy of the petition. Please direct the registry to accept it. The police are already there to arrest a cabinet minister,” Narayan Rane’s lawyer Aniket Nikam said.
To this, Justice Shinde replied, “Mentioning is not allowed. File a praecipe. Everyone has to follow the same procedure. Don’t expect us to do the work of registry.”
Replying to Justice Shinde, Rane’s lawyer Aniket Nikam said he would be harping on the fact that notice under Section 41A of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) had not been complied with.
Narayan Rane’s lawyer said, “Sections for which he has been charged fetch less than seven years of sentence. A notice should have been served by police before detaining.”
However, the court refused to entertain the petition any further and urged Narayan Rane to follow the due procedure. The petition challenged the FIRs lodged against Rane in Pune, Nashik and Mahad in Raigad.
Earlier, Narayan Rane had approached the Sessions Court in Ratnagiri with an anticipatory bail but got no relief.
Narayan Rane had sparked off a row with his remarks saying he would have given “a tight slap” when Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray allegedly missed the year of India’s Independence during his speech.
During his Jan Ashirwad Yatra in Raigad district on Monday, Narayan Rane said, “It is shameful that the chief minister 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.”
On Tuesday, Nashik Police Commissioner Deepak Pandey issued orders for the immediate arrest of Rane after an FIR was registered against him in the North Maharashtra city.