Mere Violation Not Enough: Court Rejects Plea Against Bail To MP-MLA Couple

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Lok Sabha MP Navneet Rana and her husband Ravi Rana, an independent MLA, were arrested on April 23.

Mumbai:

A mere violation of bail conditions does not warrant the cancellation of bail unless it also affects the probe of the case, a court here has said while rejecting a plea against Independent MP Navneet Rana and her MLA husband Ravi Rana.

“Overwhelming” circumstances are necessary for the cancellation of bail, the court said, refusing to cancel the bail granted to them.

Special judge R N Rokade for the cases against MPs and MLAs on August 22 rejected the application filed by Mumbai Police against the couple.

The detailed order became available on Friday.

Navneet Rana, Lok Sabha member from Amravati in Maharashtra, and her husband Ravi Rana, an independent MLA from Badnera in Amravati district, were arrested on April 23 after they announced they would recite Hanuman Chalisa outside then Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s private residence here.

They were booked on the charges of sedition and `prompting enmity between different groups.’ The couple were granted bail on May 5 by the special court which also imposed several conditions on them, including not giving statements to the media about the case.

The bail would be cancelled if any of the conditions were violated, it had said.

Police approached the court a few days later seeking that their bail be cancelled as they had made statements to the media about the case.

The police also sought a non-bailable warrant against the couple.

Special public prosecutor Pradip Gharat told the court that the Ranas also tried to threaten some witnesses by giving interviews to the media. The couple’s lawyer Rizwan Merchant contended that no offence had been registered regarding the statements made by the Ranas after their release.

The Ranas had not violated any of the conditions imposed upon them, he claimed.

The court in its order held that “very cogent and overwhelming” circumstances are necessary for the cancellation of bail.

“It is not disputed that no offence was registered pertaining to the statements made by the respondents,” the judge observed.

The court must see whether the violation of bail conditions amounted to an attempt to interfere with the administration of justice, the court said.

It should also consider whether it affects the investigation and trial, and “it is not the case of the prosecution that due to the aforesaid statements, the investigation is hampered,” it said.

“Mere violation of the bail condition unless it affects the merits of the case, is not sufficient to cancel the bail granted to the respondents,” said the court, rejecting the police’s plea for a warrant against the Ranas. PTI AVI KRK KRK

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