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Kangana Ranaut granted protection from arrest till January 25 in sedition case

A complaint was lodged against Kangana Ranaut and Rangoli Chandel for allegedly "trying to create hatred and communal tension" through their social media posts.

2021-01-11T11:28:00Z
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Kangana Ranaut

Courtesy : Kangana Ranaut Instagram

On Monday, the Bombay High Court granted protection from arrest to Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut in sedition case. 

The Bombay HC extended the interim relief of no coercive action against the actress and her sister Rangoli Chandel till January 25, 2021 and also directed the city police to not summon the duo for questioning till then.

The Ranaut sisters faced legal trouble after a complaint was lodged against them for allegedly "trying to create hatred and communal tension" through their social media posts. 

After sending three legal notices to Kangana Ranaut and Rangoli Chandel, the duo arrived at Mumbai’s Bandra police station on January 8 2020. She was spotted surrounding by CRPF personnel as she has been provided with Y-plus category security.

The complaint was lodged against them in October, by casting director and fitness trainer Munnawar Ali Sayyed, who claimed that Kangana and Rangoli tried to spread communal tension between two religious groups through their posts.

A division bench of Justices S S Shinde and Manish Pitale was hearing a petition filed by the sisters, seeking to quash the FIR and the order passed by the magistrate on October 17 last year

Public prosecutor Deepak Thakare informed the court on Monday that the petitioners appeared before the police on January 8 from 1 pm to 3 pm.

"She (Ranaut) left even before we could complete the interrogation, claiming she has professional commitments. We will call her again for interrogation. What is wrong in cooperating," Thakare said.

To this, Justice Pitale said, "She (Ranaut) was there for two hours. Is this not enough? How many more hours do you (police) need for cooperation.” Thakare then said the police want to question her for three more days.

Advocate Rizwan Merchant, appearing for complainant Sahil Ashraf Ali Sayyed, sought time to file an affidavit in response to the petition. The court then adjourned the matter till January 25.

"The interim relief by way of no coercive action against the petitioners shall continue till then. The police shall not call the petitioners till that day," the court said.

Justice Shinde then said this is not the only case the Bandra police have. "The police can investigate other cases until then," he said.

The court also reiterated its remarks made on the last hearing over the police's action of invoking Indian Penal Code Section 124(A) for sedition in the case.

"We anyways have serious reservations about invoking section 124(A) in this case," Justice Shinde said.

Merchant and Thakare told the court that despite an assurance given by the petitioner (Ranaut) that she would not post anything on her social media pertaining to this case, Ranaut posted several messages on Twitter, including one on the day she went to the police station. "She went to the extent of saying that she is being tortured," Merchant said.

The court said it would consider all these issues on January 25.

The sisters in their plea have termed the magistrate's order as "arbitrary and perverse". Their petition said the magistrate passed the order without "proper application of mind".

The petition sought that the HC quash the magistrate's order and the FIR lodged by the Bandra police.

The plea also sought interim orders to the police to not take any coercive steps against the sisters and stay the summons issued to them.

The court said it would consider all these issues on January 25.

The sisters in their plea have termed the magistrate's order as "arbitrary and perverse". Their petition said the magistrate passed the order without "proper application of mind".

The petition sought that the HC quash the magistrate's order and the FIR lodged by the Bandra police.

The plea also sought interim orders to the police to not take any coercive steps against the sisters and stay the summons issued to them.


Kangana Ranaut


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