HC extends protection from arrest granted to Kangana, sister

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Mumbai, Jan 25 (PTI) The Bombay High Court on Monday extended till February 15 the interim protection from arrest granted to actor Kangana Ranaut and her sister Rangoli Chandel in connection with an FIR registered against them by Mumbai police on sedition and other charges following their tweets.

A bench of Justices SS Shinde and Manish Pitale adjourned further hearing on the plea filed by Ranaut and her sister, challenging the order of the Bandra magistrate to initiate criminal proceedings against them based on the above FIR, and subsequent summons of the Mumbai Police over the same.

The bench said, since the hearing had been adjourned, the interim protection granted to the duo would automatically be extended till the next date.

The FIR was registered in October last year following orders from the magistrate court in Bandra after Munawwar Ali Sayyad, a casting director and fitness trainer, filed a complaint citing some tweets and statements made allegedly by Ranaut and her sister.

He sought that the court direct the police to register an FIR against the sisters under various charges, including sedition.

In an affidavit filed in HC on Monday through his counsel Rizwan Merchant, Sayyad said Ranaut and her sister Rangoli promoted 'hatred and contempt, and excited disaffection towards the Maharashtra government,' through their tweets.

Sayyad said the sisters had also repeatedly promoted enmity between communities through their remarks.

He said in the affidavit that the magistrate's court was, therefore, justified in directing the police to initiate proceedings and invoke the offence of sedition under section 124A of the IPC against them.

In his complaint in the Bandra court, Sayyad had also said Ranaut, through her tweets and television interviews, had continuously defamed the Hindi film industry by portraying Bollywood as a hub of nepotism, favouritism, drug addicts, communally biased and murderers, etc.

Earlier this month, Sayyad had filed an application seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against Ranaut for allegedly breaching a previous statement made in the High Court.

He had said in the plea that on November 24, Ranaut had given an undertaking in HC that she will not make statements pertaining to the Mumbai police's investigation into the sedition case filed against her.

However, on January 8, just before she went to the police station, she tweeted a video in which she is speaking to her fans about the investigation.

HC is now hearing Ranaut's plea against the Bandra court, and Sayyad's contempt application together. PTI AYA BNM BNM