Hanuman Chalisa row: Amravati MP Navneet Rana, her MLA husband granted bail

They have been allowed to be released on bail by the sessions court in Mumbai with conditions.

New Delhi: Maharashtra’s MP-MLA couple Navneet Rana and Ravi Rana, arrested over the Hanuman Chalisa row, have been granted bail by a special court in Mumbai on Wednesday (May 4, 2022).

They have been allowed to be released on bail by the sessions court with conditions. The court said the applicants shall not commit a similar offence while on bail, and not address the press on any subject related to the case.

Independent Lok Sabha MP Navneet Rana and her MLA-husband Ravi Rana were arrested on April 23 following their public declaration of reciting the Hanuman Chalisa outside Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s private residence ‘Matoshree’ in Mumbai. They were booked under various provisions of the IPC, including charges of sedition and promoting enmity.

The couple had then moved to the court seeking bail.

Last week, both the prosecution and defence completed their arguments on the bail application. Their bail plea said the call to recite the Hanuman Chalisa outside ‘Matoshree’ cannot be said to be aimed at promoting feelings of enmity or hatred among different groups and this charge under IPC section 153(A) cannot be sustained.

“There was no intention on the part of the applicants (Ranas) to instigate people or spread hatred by reciting the Hanuman Chalisa near the CM’s private residence,” their plea said.

“It is submitted that by no stretch of the imagination, can the acts of the Applicants be stated to constitute the offence of sedition,” the plea said.

Navneet Rana, the Lok Sabha MP from Amravati in eastern Maharashtra, and Ravi Rana, the MLA from Badnera, had eventually dropped their plan to recite the Hunuman chalisa (hymns dedicated to lord Hanuman) outside Thackeray’s private residence citing the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Mumbai for an event.

(With agency inputs)