The Raigad Magistrate Court on Tuesday found that though the arrest of Union Minister Narayan Rane in a defamation case was justified, it was not necessary for him to be sent to police custody.
The Court had also granted bail to Rane in the defamation case filed against him for allegedly making derogatory statements against Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
Rane was booked in multiple FIRs under Sections 153A(2) (promoting enmity causing disharmony in society), 500 (defamation) and 505(2) (inciting violence) of the Indian Penal Code.
Judicial Magistrate Shaikhbabaso S Patil observed in his order that offences under Sections 153A and 505 were cognizable offences.
The Magistrate noted that a warrant was not required to arrest a person for alleged offences under Sections 153A and 505(2), and that considering he was an Union Minister, police was expected to be around him.
Considering these reasons, his arrest was justified, the Magistrate held.
Furthermore, the Magistrate noted that as per the complainant itself, the statement was made before the public and the entire incident went viral on social media.
Considering the nature of the offences alleged, the Court deemed it unnecessary to grant police custody.
Rane submitted to the Court that he would not repeat such statements (which could cause public disharmony) in public again. However, he refused to give an undertaking to this effect.
Considering such assurance, his age and the fact that he had roots in the society, the Court proceeded to grant him bail.
Rane was directed to remain present for voice sampling which is required for investigation. The prosecution was directed to give Rane seven days' notice on email before summoning him for the same. He was also directed to mark his presence at Alibaug LCB office on every first and fourth Monday.
[Read judicial custody and bail order here]