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Hanuman Chalisa row: Mumbai special court grants bail to Navneet Rana, Ravi Rana

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date

Mumbai: A special court here on Wednesday, May 4, granted bail to Independent MP Navneet Rana and her MLA-husband Ravi Rana, who were arrested following a row over the recitation of Hanuman Chalisa.

Also Read :- Hanuman Chalisa row: No relief for Navneet and Ravi Rana, court reserves order for May 2

The court allowed their release on a bond of Rs 50,000. Their lawyers sought their release on provisional cash bail for two weeks till the surety can be arranged.

Special Judge R N Rokade while pronouncing the order said that among the conditions for the couple is that they cannot make any statements to the press related to the case and also their bail will be forfeited if they commit similar offences again. They were also directed to remain present for the investigation as and when required with a 24-hour notice to be given to them by the investigators.

“Court has granted bail to Navneet Rana and Ravi Rana. Some conditions have been imposed. They’ve been asked to cooperate in the investigation & interrogation. Police have also been directed to issue an advance notice of 24 hours to them,” the Rizwan Merchant, advocate of Navneet and Ravi, told reporters outside the court.

“Another condition is that no hamering or tampering to be done with evidence. They are not allowed to give any sort of interview to the media. Hopefully, they will be released by today’s evening,” Merchant added.

The police, represented by special public prosecutor Pradeep Gharat, had opposed the bail plea, saying while on the face of it the couple’s plan looked innocent, but it was, in fact, a big plot to challenge the ruling government. The police claimed that the opposition BJP in the state and political opponents of CM Uddhav Thackeray were trying to create an atmosphere to show that the CM was against Hindus and not sponsoring the cause of Hinduism.

Navneet and Ravi were arrested by the Mumbai Police on April 23 following their public declaration of reciting the Hanuman Chalisa outside Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s private residence ‘Matoshree’ in Bandra. They were sent to 14 days of judicial custody.

Also Read :- Hanuman Chalisa row: MP Navneet Rana, her MLA husband sent to separate jails

Although the couple had eventually dropped their plan to recite the Hanuman Chalisa outside Uddhav’s residence, the Mumbai Police had registered an FIR against them under various sections of IPC for promoting enmity. Police later added a sedition charge against them.

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