The Bombay High Court on Monday dismissed a plea filed by independent MP-MLA couple, Navneet Rana and her husband Ravi Rana, respectively, seeking to quash the second of two FIRs registered against them for resisting arrest on Saturday after a huge row over their plans to recite ‘Hanuman Chalisa’ outside the private home of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
A division bench of Justice P.B. Varale and Justice S.M. Modak also observed that there was considerable merit in the submissions made by Special Public Prosecutor Pradip Gharat.
The judges upheld his references to the FIR pertaining to chant religious verses near the personal home of the CM since such an act to recite the religious chants at the residence of another person or at a public place is a breach of personal liberty of the other person, and the Maharashtra government was justified in its apprehensions that it could lead to a law and order situation in Mumbai.
“Persons in public life are expected to act responsibly. With great power comes great responsibility… that those who are active in public life are expected to act responsibly is not an extra but a basic expectation,” the court said in its strong observations.
The judges said that in case the state government wanted to initiate action against the Ranas for the second FIR, then they would give 72 hours notices to the petitioners (Ranas) before initiating any such measures.
The Ranas’ lawyer Rizwan Merchant said that after they receive the notice, they would decide in 72 hours their next course of action.