Union Minister Narayan Rane was granted bail late on Tuesday after Mumbai Police arrested him for his alleged “tight slap” remark on Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
A magistrate court in Mahad denied the police’s demand for his custody and asked Rane to present at the Mahad police station within two days.
During his Jan Ashirwad Yatra in Raigad district on August 23, Rane had said, “It is shameful that the Chief Minister does not know the year of independence. He leaned back to enquire about the count of years of independence during his speech. Had I been there, I would have given (him) a tight slap.”
At the Mahad court, Government pleader Bhushan Salvi looked for seven-day police custody for the BJP leader. It was essential to investigate in case there was a plan to malign the reputation of the chief minister, he said.
In opposition, Rane’s lawyer argued that his health condition was poor and is suffering from sugar and blood pressure.
The court after hearing both the sides denied the police for Rane’s custody. However, the court remanded him in judicial custody and then granted bail on security of ₹ 15,000.
Rane’s lawyer Aniket Nikam told media that they will approach the High Court for an urgent hearing with a quashing plea. He will challenge the authenticity of the arrest and proceedings against him, said the report.
Soon after getting bail, the Union Minister tweeted, “Satyamev Jayate” (truth always prevails).
After his arrest, Rane was taken to Mahad in Raigad district, 165 km from Mumbai, where a FIR was filed against him over the remark. Case were filed against him at Nashik and Pune too as the remark set off heavy protests by Shiv Sena workers.
The case at Mahad was filed under IPC sections 189 (threat of injury to public servant), 504 (intentional insult to provoke breach of public peace) and 505 (statements conducive to public mischief).
Rane’s remarks against Thackeray drew up anger from Shiv Sena, whose workers set up a banner in Mumbai, considering him a kombdi chor’ (chicken stealer), a reference to the poultry shop he ran in Chembur region fifty years ago, during the underlying piece of his more than forty years long spell with the Bal Thackeray-led party.