MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court on Friday directed Union Minister Narayan Rane to file separate petitions instead of only one that seeks to quash the FIRs registered against him at six police stations across the state over his controversial remarks against Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
Rane had filed a petition seeking to quash the cases lodged against him at Mahad, Nashik, Pune, Thane, Jalgaon and Ahmednagar.
On Friday when the plea came up for hearing before a division bench of Justices S S Shinde and N J Jamadar, the court said it would be better if separate petitions are filed for each of the FIR.
“The FIRs are of different police stations.
Let the challenge to each of the FIR be in separate petitions.
Then it will become easier for the prosecution also to take instructions from each police station,” the court said.
Rane’s counsel Ashok Mundargi and advocate Aniket Nikam agreed and said they would file separate petitions.
They sought interim protection in all the cases.
“The prosecution had earlier said they would not take any coercive action against Rane in the FIR registered by the Nashik cyber police.
Similar protection should be given in the other cases too,” Mundargi said.
The court said it would first hear the pleas and then decide.
It said the police’s earlier statement of no coercive action in the Nashik police station case shall continue till the next date of hearing.
The court posted the matter for further hearing on September 30.
Additional public prosecutor Jayesh Yagnik, appearing for the prosecution, said Rane had assured that he would cooperate with the investigation being carried out by the Nashik police and has to appear before it on September 25 to record his statement.
Mundargi said Rane would cooperate and appear via video-conferencing.
Rane faces these FIRs over his remark that he would have slapped Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray over the latter’s “ignorance” of the year of India’s independence.
The remarks made last month, had triggered a political row and protests.