The Bombay High Court on Friday, 26 February extended interim relief until 22 March to actress Kangana Ranaut and her sister, Rangoli Chandel from arrest by the Maharashtra Police for a sedition case against the duo over alleged hateful posts on Twitter.
The HC Bench of Justice SS Shinde and Justice Manish Pitale made this ruling, whilst hearing the plea by Kangana to quash the case, during which the Judges asked for the record and proceedings from the Metropolitan Magistrate Court at Bandra. The petition also asked that no coercive steps be taken against them by the Mumbai Police.
What Happened in Court
Kangana’s lawyer, Advocate Rizwan Siddiquee submitted that the lower court, which had ordered for the Mumbai police to take cognisance of the FIR against the sisters was decided with “haste” in a day, reported The Indian Express.
The advocate challenged the order passed by the Magistrate Court claiming that “compliance under Section 154(1) and 154(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) was not done by the complainant Munnawarali Sayyed, and this was not considered by the lower court,” according to Bar and Bench.
Section 154(1) states that all information with regard to a cognizable offence must be reported to the nearest police station, if given orally, must be written under the direction of a police officer. If this is not done so, a grievance may be raised under Section 154 (3) with the Superintendent of Police.
Justice Pitale agreed with Siddiquee saying, “The Magistrate should have checked for compliance. He should have seen there is no compliance under 154(3)“, added the report.
Sayyed’s lawyer, advocate Rizwan Merchant submitted the letters filed in compliance, which Siddiquee cited did not match with the records submitted to the high court.
The court ordered for the records of the lower court to be produced on or before 12 March.
The HC then granted continued interim relief to Kangana and Rangoli till the next hearing on 22 March, based on the assurance that they will visit the police station when called and fully cooperate with the police, added the report.
The Complaint Against The Sisters
The FIR was filed by casting director, Sahil Ashrafali Sayyed under under IPC sections 153A (promoting enmity), 295A (malicious acts intended to outrage the religious feelings), 124A (sedition) over her tweets that allegedly hurt religious sentiments of him and other artists.
The complaint alleged that Kangana’s claims of nepotism, and attempt to divide artists through their faith to spread communal tensions were very objectionable.
(With inputs from Bar and Bench and The Indian Express)