Following a day of swift developments in Maharashtra on Tuesdat which saw the arrest of Union minister Narayan Rane, a district court in Mahad, Raigad, granted bail to the minister. Rane was arrested on Tuesday for making remarks about slapping Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. The comments have triggered a political row and protests.
Rane was taken into custody by police in the coastal Ratnagiri district, where he was travelling as part of the Jan Ashirwad Yatra. Rane was produced before Judicial Magistrate Shaikhbabaso S Patil at 9.45 pm following his arrest in the afternoon.
The BJP leader faces four FIRs across Maharashtra over his remark that he would have slapped Thackeray over the latter’s 'ignorance' of the year of India’s independence.
Government pleader Bhushan Salvi sought seven-day police custody for the BJP leader to conduct further investigation. It was important to investigate if there was a conspiracy to tarnish the reputation of the chief minister, he said.
Opposing the application, Rane's lawyers Aniket Nikam and Bhau Salunkhe argued that his health condition was serious as he was 69 years old and suffered from sugar and blood pressure issues.
Nikam further argued that the offenses under IPC for which Rane was arrested were all punishable with less than seven years and hence his custody was unnecessary.
Nikam also argued that Rane's arrest was illegal as no summons was issued to him under Section 41A of the Code of Criminal Procedure before his arrest.
Court, after hearing both sides, denied the police the Union minister's custody.
It instead remanded him in judicial custody and then, on the plea moved by his lawyers, granted Rane bail on a surety of Rs 15,000.
Rane was also asked to mark his presence at the Mahad police station on August 30 and September 13.
If the police wanted to collect Rane's voice sample, they will intimate him and he shall cooperate, the court said.
He was arrested on Tuesday afternoon by the Ratnagiri police and taken to Mahad in Raigad district.
The FIR at Mahad was registered under IPC sections 189 (threat of injury to public servant), 504 (intentional insult to provoke breach of public peace) and 505 (statements conducive to public mischief).
(With inputs from PTI)