Anti-Bihari remarks: HC stays proceedings against Raj Thackeray

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday stayed the trial court proceedings against MNS chief Raj Thackeray in various cases lodged against him for allegedly making anti-Bihari remarks in 2008.

"The proceedings before the trial court are stayed," a bench of Justice Sunil Gaur said, adding that 'it seems' none
of the complainants, on whose complaints trial court had summoned Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Thackeray, are serious about pursuing the matter.

Anti-Bihari remarks: HC stays proceedings against Raj ThackerayMNS chief Raj Thackeray

It also observed that none appeared in the case listed before this court. Earlier, the court on February 12 had issued notice to the respondents- eight persons who have filed separate complaints against Thackeray, and had sought their reply on the plea of the MNS chief.

Thackeray has moved the High Court seeking stay on the proceedings before a trial court and quashing of the criminal complaints against him for allegedly making inflammatory remarks.

Senior advocate Arvind Nigam, appearing for Thackeray, contended before the court that in absence of the sanction the proceedings before the trial court is unwarranted.

Earlier on January 30, 2013, the court had stayed execution of the non-bailable warrants (NBWs) and tagged the matter with several other similar petitions moved by the MNS chief. All these matters will now come up for hearing on
October 12.

As per Thackeray's plea, complaints were filed against him in various places including Delhi, Jharkhand and Bihar in
2008 under sections 153A (promoting enmity between classes), 153B (assertions prejudicial to national integration), 295A (maliciously insulting religion of any class), 500(defamation) and 504 (insult intended to provoke breach of peace) of IPC.

The complaint alleged that he had made inflammatory speeches against people of Bihar. A magisterial court first issued summons against him and then arrest warrants as he had failed to appear.

Thackeray then moved the Supreme Court, which in January 2010, stayed the proceedings and transferred all cases to Delhi. Subsequently, the MNS leader moved the High Court seeking quashing of the criminal complaints in the trial court here as well as the summoning orders and non-bailable warrants issued by the lower courts at places in Bihar, Jharkhand and Delhi.

Recently the court had sought a response of the Centre on a plea seeking a direction to implead the government in cases related to MNS chief.

Another bench of the high court had issued notice to Ministry of law and Justice and Home Ministry to inform it
about the status of sanction requested for MNS head's prosecution. The plea was filed by one of the complainant on whose complaint NBWs was issued by the trial court against Thackeray on October 7, 2014.

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