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Bailable warrant against Thackeray
February 08, 2007 16:05 IST
A Mumbai court on Thursday issued a bailable warrant against Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray for his alleged anti-Muslim statements during his party's anniversary celebrations last year.
Close on the heels of the Sena's success in the civic polls in Mumbai, Thackeray was ordered to be present in court on March 28 by Metropolitan Magistrate M B Date, who had earlier issued summons to him on three occasions.
The complaint against Thackeray was filed by Nationalist Congress Party activist Munna Tripathi, who alleged the Sena founder made statements against the minority community during a function to celebrate his party's anniversary in June last year.
Tripathi also named Sanjay Raut, a Rajya Sabha member of Parliament and editor of the Sena's mouthpiece Saamna, in the complaint for publishing Thackeray's entire speech in the paper. Raut was present in court on Thursday.
Thackeray has been accused by Tripathi of promoting enemity between two different groups on grounds of religion, race and language.
The 80-year-old Sena patriarch has not appeared in court on prior occasions, with his lawyers citing old age and ill health as reasons for his absence.
"We will give the warrant to police, who will have to serve it on Thackeray. Since it is bailable, he can pay a bail bond to police and avoid arrest, but he will have to be present in court on March 28," Rajesh Dubey, the counsel for Tripathi, said.
Earlier, a summons had been issued to Raut, after which he furnished a bond of Rs 25,000 to the court and has appeared before it on subsequent occasions, Dubey said.