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Mumbai court to decide on withdrawal of riot case against Thackeray on Friday
October 03, 2003 06:07 IST
The Maharashtra government's plea to withdraw prosecution against Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray and 24 party workers in a 1991 riot case would come up for hearing before a magistrate in Mumbai on Friday. All the accused have been asked to be present in court.
Magistrate S Y Shishode had on September 22 exempted Thackeray from a personal appearance on health grounds. The Sena chief has urged for permanent exemption.
Thackeray is accused of making an inflammatory speech at a rally while 24 party workers are facing the charge of rioting and ransacking the office of a newspaper, which criticised the Sena chief.
During the last hearing, the court had expressed its desire to expeditiously dispose off the state's plea. However, prosecutor R S Khandekar sought time to study the case.
In 1997, the state had moved the court seeking to withdraw prosecution against Thackeray and others for want of evidence. However, the court turned down the plea prompting the state government to appeal in the Bombay high court.
The high court set aside the lower court order. Justice J A Patil, quashing the February 18, 1997 order of a magistrate, directed him to consider afresh the government's plea.The case will come up before a court in Bandra, a suburb of Mumbai.