New Delhi: A Delhi sessions court on Friday issues a fresh non-bailable warrant issued by a Bihar court against Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) Raj Thackeray after he refused to make an appearance in court citing security reasons. The first warrant was issued by a Bihar court following an FIR against Thackeray in 2010 for allegedly making a hate speech against Biharis and exhorting his supporters to beat up railways' entrance exam candidates from North India.
Raj Thackeray's counsel had earlier argued that he could not appear before the court on Friday due to Ganesh Utsav and security reasons. But the court found the argument improper and issued the non-bailable warrant. The next date of hearing has been fixed for November 17.
The incident related to a railways' entrance exam in Mumbai on October 20, 2008 when candidates from North India, including those from Bihar, were allegedly attacked at Raj Thackeray's behest. Apart from that he had allegedly given hate speech against North Indians on the occasion of Chhath, an important religious festival of Biha.
There are seven such cases against the MNS chief at Delhi's Tis Hazari court. The cases were moved to Delhi following a Supreme Court order in early 2012 after Raj had moved the apex court following the NBWs that were issued against him by Bihar courts. He wanted the cases be transferred to Delhi siting security threat.
Earlier, Delhi Police registered an FIR registered against him for making hate speeches against Biharis, branding them as infiltrators in Mumbai and threatening them to throw out of the state following a court's orders.
The MNS chief has been booked under various sections of the Indian Penal code including promoting enmity between groups. He has been charged under IPC Sections 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc), 153 B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief).Metropolitan Magistrate Neeraj Gaur had on Thursday ordered Delhi Police to register an FIR on a complaint by advocate Prem Shankar Sharma who said Thackeray's August 31 remarks against Bihar natives are provocative and anti-national.
In its action-taken-report over the complaint, the Delhi Police had earlier told the court that it was facing several legal hurdles in lodging the FIR against the MNS chief as neither the comments were made in the national Capital nor the newspapers which carried them are printed in Delhi.
It had said neither the MNS office is situated in the jurisdiction of Subzi Mandi police station in Delhi nor any such statement has been made by Thackeray in a place under the jurisdiction of the police station. The investigating officer, however, had said the police was ready and willing to abide by the court's direction on the issue.
The police had also said "the news causing hurt to the complainant has been printed in Noida and Sahibabad, Uttar Pradesh. Hence, the complaint has been forwarded to SSP Ghaziabad for necessary action at their end."
Sharma had said in his complaint that "Thackeray's August 31 remarks that Bihar natives who have been living in Maharashtra, especially in Mumbai, shall be kicked out of the state, were defaming and his provocative statement is against national integration as the Indian Constitution has given all citizens the right to live anywhere in the country."
The MNS chief had allegedly made the remarks reacting to a media report that Bihar Chief Secretary Navin Kumar wrote to Mumbai Police Commissioner voicing displeasure over the arrest of a youth from Bihar for vandalising the martyr's memorial during the Azad Maidan protest on August 11 in Mumbai.