The Mumbai Sessions Court on Tuesday directed the Mumbai Police to respond to pleas filed by Member of Parliament Naveent Rana, and her husband and Member of Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Ravi Rana, seeking bail in the sedition case registered against them..Special Judge RN Rokade hearing cases related to MPs and MLAs, directed the police to file their response by April 29. The judge indicated that in the event time permits, the bail plea will be heard on the same date.The couple was arrested by the Mumbai Police on April 23 after they 'threatened' to recite the Hanuman Chalisa outside Maharashtra Chief Minister (CM) Uddhav Thackeray's private residence. .They were initially booked under Sections 153A (causing enmity between different groups), Section 34 (common intention) and later on booked under Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for challenging government machinery and making remarks against the Chief Minister.They were remanded to 14-day judicial custody on Sunday, April 24 by a Special Metropolitan Magistrate for MPs and MLAs at Sewree, Mumbai where they also filed for bail. However, since one of the offences (Section 124A of IPC) in the FIR is now exclusively triable before the Sessions Court, both Ranas withdrew the application before the Magistrate, and approached the Sessions Court for bail. .The bail plea before Sessions raised the following grounds: - That their arrest is illegal, contrary to law and against constitutional rights;- That they should have been issued a notice by police, before arresting, which was not done. - That there was no mens rea under Section 153A of IPC or intention to cause ill will or hatred feelings of persons mentioned in the section.”The announcement of reciting Hanuman Chalisa outside the of the Hon'ble Chief minister was made for the purpose of enlisting popular support and in considering the effect of such announcement no serious notice ought to be taken. The government cannot afford to be hypertensive nor impervious to criticism," the plea said. Further, the call to recite the Hanuman Chalisa outside the residence of the CM can by no stretch of imagination be treated as an attempt to incite one community against another therefore the provision of section 153(A) is not attracted, it was contended. It was also pointed out that after the Mumbai Police issued notice, the applicants complied with the same and did not step out of their residence.It was alleged that the State has invoked sedition only with an intention to suppress their freedom of speech and expression.