The Thane police on Thursday informed the Bombay High Court it will not take any coercive action against the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) party workers, who have been charged with assaulting and evicting hawkers from near the Thane railway station recently, till Monday.
The assurance came while a division bench of the High Court was hearing a petition filed by eight MNS workers, including the party’s Thane unit chief, Avinash Jadhav. All petitioners are accused of assaulting, forcefully evicting and damaging properties of hawkers from in and around Thane station and railway bridge. A case was registered against them on October 21 by Naupada police. They were subsequently arrested and released on bail.
According to the petition, on November 1, Naupada police had written to the Thane Assistant Commissioner of Police, suggesting that some preventive action be initiated against the petitioners and consequently, showcause notices were issued. The ACP sent the notices directing them to explain why they should not be ordered to execute a bond and surety of Rs 1 crore each. The petitioners had challenged the two notices issued on November 1 and 3.
The petitioners’ counsel, advocate Rajendra Shirodkar, argued the bond amount was exorbitant and unjustified and the notices issued against the petitioners were unwarranted and had been issued by the police without “any application of mind”.
A bench of Justice Ranjit More and Justice Shalini-Phansalkar Joshi agreed during the hearing that the petitioners did not prima facie appear to be habitual offenders. They then sought the police’s assurance that the petitioners would not be asked to execute the bond amount and that they will not face any other coercive action from the police till Monday.