Raj Thackeray gets reprieve from apex courtJanuary 7th, 2009 - 8:36 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Jan 7 (IANS) The Supreme Court Wednesday stalled the imminent arrest of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray, ordered by a Jamshedpur court for his rabble-rousing speeches against people from Bihar and other north Indian states who were staying in Maharashtra.Suspending the arrest warrant, a bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justice P. Sathasivam also allowed him not to attend court hearings in Jamshedpur Jan 10.
On a lawsuit by Thackeray, the bench also issued notices to eight people from Jharkhand and Bihar, who have moved various courts in the two states, seeking prosecution of the MNS leader for allegedly raising sectarian feelings by making “inflammatory speeches” against north Indians.
Thackeray had approached the apex court seeking transfer of the eight cases lodged by private individuals to a court outside the two states.
Six cases have been lodged in various courts of Jharkhand and two in Bihar.
The complaints against Thackeray have been lodged under sections 504, 153A and 153B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), seeking his prosecution respectively for making allegedly defamatory speeches against north Indians, staying in Mumbai and elsewhere Maharashtra and triggering disharmony between two communities through his inflammatory speeches or write-ups.
Earlier in July last year, the apex court, however, had refused to protect Thackeray from facing prosecution, sought on the same grounds, in Jharkhand.
A bench of Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice Mukundkum Sharma had thrown out Thackeray’s petition saying it would not interfere with the Jharkhand High Court ruling which had endorsed his prosecution.
Thackeray, however, had got the Jamshedpur court’s order for his arrest stalled by a Mumbai court, which had protected him against arrest till Jan 10. The Mumbai court had also asked him to attend the Jamshedpur court Jan 10.
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