Governor Syed Sibtey Razi has approved the prosecution of MNS chief Raj Thackeray under non-bailable sections of the IPC for his tirade against north Indians at a function in Mumbai last year.
The move follows a petition by Jamshedpur-based lawyer Hamid Raja Khan,who had filed a complaint on February 2 last year,two days after Thackeray spewed venom on north Indians and the Chhath Puja.
A Jamshedpur court had taken cognizance of Khans petition under various sections of the IPC including 153-A (causing animosity between groups) and 295 (hurting religious feeling of a group). Punishment under these provisions is up to three years in jail or fine,or both. Thackeray then moved the Jharkhand HC,which allowed the Jamshedpur court to prosecute him but not under the above sections without state governments approval.
Khan filed an application seeking the Governments permission on September 27,but no action was taken.
Following the imposition of President’s Rule in Jharkhand on January 19,DGP V D Ram forwarded Khans petition to the Governor who cleared it on Saturday.
The Governors move comes more than a month after the Supreme Courts intervention. On January 6,the court,responding to Thackerays petition seeking transfer all cases against him in Bihar,UP and Jharkhand to Mumbai,had issued notices on the petitioners,asking them to file counter-affidavits.
Thackerays lawyer Neeraj Rai said: Till the case is disposed of by the SC,Governor Razi’s sanction of prosecution has to be kept on hold.