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‘Slap Uddhav’ remark: Union Minister gets bail hours after arrest

On Tuesday night, Maharashtra’s Raigad district court granted bail to Union Minister Narayan Rane, arrested over his controversial remark against state Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray that sparked protests and political recriminations. The BJP leader faces four FIRs across Maharashtra over his comment that he would have hit Thackeray over the latter’s `ignorance’ of the year of India’s independence.

After being arrested in the afternoon, Rane was produced before Judicial Magistrate Shaikhbabaso S Patil at 9.45 pm. Bhushan Salvi, attorney for the government, requested seven days of police custody for the BJP leader. He said it was important to determine whether there was a conspiracy to tarnish the reputation of the Chief Minister.

Aniket Nikam and Bhau Salunkhe, who represented Rane, argued that his health issues were serious and that he was 69 years old and suffered from blood pressure and sugar issues. Additionally, Nikam argued that the offenses under IPC for which Rane was arrested were all punishable with less than seven years, so Rane’s custody was irrelevant. Nikam also claimed that Rane was illegally arrested since he had not received a summons under Section 41A of the Code of Criminal Procedure before he was arrested.

After hearing both sides, the court denied police custody of the Union minister. On a plea from his lawyers, the court remanded Rane in judicial custody and granted him bail on a surety of Rs 15,000 on the condition that he remain in judicial custody. Rane was also asked to mark his presence at the Mahad police station on August 30 and September 13. The police will inform Rane if they want to collect his voice sample, and he will cooperate, the court said.

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The Ratnagiri police arrested him on Tuesday afternoon and took him to Mahad in Raigad district. At Mahad, an FIR was registered under sections 189 (threat to injure a public servant), 504 (intentional insult to provoke breach of public peace), and 505 (statements conducive to public mischief).


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