High Court stays the gag order
Raj Thackeray got no respite from the Bombay High Court on Friday, which set aside the just previous day’s order of a session judge, which stayed the second gag order expiring on March 3 against him.
The HC, after hearing the state’s challenge, allowed continuance of the police order restricting Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray from holding public meetings or making media statements.
Just a day ago on Thursday a session court had stayed the extension of the gag order imposed on Raj Thackeray by the city police.
Additional sessions judge S N Sardesai, however, had said that the court's order would not be applicable until 5 pm on Friday to permit the city police to approach the Bombay high court to appeal against the order.
The Mumbai police approached the High Court against the session court stay on Friday.
The High Court judge A P Deshpande quashed the ‘stay’ taking into consideration the fact that the order, as it is, will expire on Monday.
The first gag order on Raj Thackray was set aside by the session court, which said it could not be for an indefinite period. It had expired on February 25 and the police had extended it by a week.
While defending extension order, Advocate general Ravi Kadam together with advocate general Ashutosh Kumbhakoni justified the extension of the ban on Raj’s gatherings and public speeches by saying that there were new circumstances comprising the reality that a large number of north Indians left Maharashtra after his earlier statements against their stay in Mumbai.
The Mumbai police noted too that Raj had showed determination to continue his activities and was defending them instead of making any statement to dissipate the unlawful situation.
The counsel for Raj could not convince the judge that by according to law, the gag order cannot be passed by hearing ‘one-side’ only and without the person concerned, unless there was an emergency situation. And, there was no emergency situation here and Raj was not responsibly for any riots, he said.
Condition of bail
The magistrate while granting bail to Raj on Feb 13 had imposed a gag order on him. One of the bail conditions was that Raj should not cause breach of peace across Maharashtra by his public speeches and media statements.
The condition was also that if violates this paramount condition; he stands to lose his liberty and can be taken into custody for another time.
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