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Raj Thackeray's arrest: What happens now
Rediff News Bureau
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February 13, 2008 17:42 IST
Last Updated: February 13, 2008 18:03 IST

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena President Raj Thackeray was arrested on Wednesday evening for his alleged remarks against north Indians in Mumbai, which sparked violence in the metropolis.

He has been booked under Sections 153, 153 (A), 153 (B) and 117 of the Indian Penal Code.

Here's a look at what these sections mean:

Section 153:

Charge: Wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riots.

Maximum punishment: Punishable with up to one year in jail or fine or both if rioting is committed. Punishable with up to six months in prison or fine or both.

Chances of bail: Bailable offence in either case.

Section 153 A:

Charge: Promoting enmity between different groups on the bases of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language etc and doing acts prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony.

Maximum punishment: Three years in jail. If the offence is committed in a place of worship, five years in jail.

Chances of bail: Non-bailable

Seciton 153 B:

Charge: Imputations prejudicial to national integration.

Maximum punishment: Imprisonment up to three years or fine or both.

Chances of bail: Non-bailable

Section 117:

Charge: Abetting the commitment of an offence by the public or more than 10 persons.

Maximum punishment: Three years or fine or both.

Chances of bail: According to the offence.

What if Raj Thackeray moves for bail: Since two of the charges are non-bailable, bail cannot be claimed as a matter of right. If he moves for bail, the prosecutor has to be given an opportunity to raise objection. Then the magistrate has to decide on whether bail be given or not.

What if he does not move for bail: If he declines to move for bail, he will be first sent to judicial remand for 14 days, which will be extended till the charge sheet is filed.

How did Abu Azmi get bail though he also is charged under a non-bailable offence --  Section 153 (A)? When Azmi moved for bail, the prosecution would not have objected to it and the magistrate would have granted bail.

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