Bombay High Court

Bombay High Court: In a Criminal Writ Petition filed by Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (‘MNS’) chief, Raj Thackeray against the order passed by the Additional Sessions Judge refusing to discharge him in Maharashtra 2008 riots case, Amit Borkar, J. quashed and set aside the impugned judgment and order directing the Revisional Court to remand back the proceedings for deciding the application afresh.

The present petition challenges the order dated 3-2-2023 passed by Additional Sessions Judge dismissing revision application arising out of application for discharge filed before Magistrate for offences under Sections 143, 109, 117 of Penal Code, 1860, Section 7 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1932 and Section 135 of the Maharashtra Police Act, 1951 vide C.R. No. 40 of 2008.

Raj Thackeray filed the discharge application on the grounds that there is no evidence to show the commitment of the alleged crime, but the Trial Court rejected the application. Aggrieved by the same, Raj Thackeray filed a criminal revision application before Sessions Court. It was dismissed again with the observation that there is material on record to show his involvement in the alleged offence through specific allegations connecting the dots.

The Court in the instant matter opined that the Revisional Court was obliged to prima facie discuss/indicate material which, according to the Sessions Court, is against Raj Thackeray. In addition, it further commented that perusal of revisional order does not refer to any such material indicating Raj Thackeray’s involvement, thus, the Court could not dismiss the revision based on vague reasons of material on record.

The Court found it necessary to remand the proceedings back to the revisional Court and accordingly ordered the Additional Sessions Judge to decide the Criminal Revision Application in accordance with the law. The Court quashed and set aside the judgment and order dated 3-2-2023.

[Raj Shrikant Thackeray v. State of Maharashtra, Criminal Writ Petition No. 975 of 2023, decided on 23-3-2023]

*Order by: Justice Amit Borkar

Advocates who appeared in this case :

For Petitioner: Senior Advocate Rajendra Shirodkar, Advocate Archit Sakhalkar, Advocate Nihar Ghag;

For Respondent/State: APP Arfan Sait.

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