The Maharashtra police on Monday informed the Bombay High Court that it would not arrest till further orders Marathi actor Ketaki Chitale in 21 out of 22 first information reports registered against her for a social media post about NCP chief Sharad Pawar.
Last week, Chitale was released on bail by a Thane court in a case registered at the Kalwa police station.
The high court will on July 12 hear Chitale’s plea seeking quashing of the FIRs against her. Chief public prosecutor Aruna Pai submitted that the police would not arrest Chitale in the remaining cases till the next date of hearing. A bench of Justices Nitin Jamdar and N R Borkar accepted the statement.
Advocates Ghanshyam Upadhyay and Hare Krishna Mishra had sought interim protection from arrest to Chitale, who claimed that the enthusiasm shown by the police in registering the FIRs proved that she was being targeted to strike fear in the minds of people. The actor requested the court to declare her arrest as “illegal and violative of her fundamental rights”. Chitale has also demanded that she be compensated for the “unlawful” arrest.
Chitale, 29, had posted on Facebook a Marathi poem that was attributed to another person. It mentioned only a surname and an age.
On June 21, the high court granted interim bail to Nikhil Bhamre, a 22-year-old Nashik resident arrested for uploading defamatory allegedly social media posts aimed at Pawar. The court granted him interim relief in two cases, registered at the Naupada police station in Thane and the Pune cyber police station.
The court also restrained the police from arresting Bhamre in connection with two FIRs filed at Goregaon and Bhoiwada till further hearing on his plea after three weeks.
Bhamre and Chitale were arrested on the same day last month. The court is likely to hear their pleas together on July 12.