The opposition has been sermonising the BJP-ruled states on constitutional rights and freedom of speech. On the contrary, they have been trampling on these rights. They have misused law for hounding opposition leaders and booked many under frivolous sedition charges. But this time the Mumbai Court has come hard on them.
MVA government gets schooling from the Court
The loudspeaker and Hanuman Chalisa issue have exposed the ‘Hindutva’ claims of Shiv Sena. Instead of taking the original party line set by the Hindu Hridya Samrat Bala Saheb Thackeray, Shiv Sena has shunned Hindu causes. It is slapping sedition charges on everyone who is raising their voice for Hindu causes. On this same line, it framed independent MP Navneet Rana and her MLA husband Ravi Rana under sedition charges.
This political framing of the opposition has been foiled by the judiciary. The Mumbai City Civil and Session Court gave bail to the legislature couple. The Special Court Judge R N Rokade made the following observations on 4th May. The court said that the couple “undoubtedly crossed the line of freedom of speech” guaranteed under the constitution, but mere expression of derogatory or objectionable words may not be a sufficient ground for invoking the charge of sedition against them.
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The court dismissed that the call for gathering outside CM’s house should fall under the ambit of sedition. It stated that the call had no intentions to subvert the government by violent means. The court also said that the couple’s announcement to recite Hanuman Chalisa outside Maharashtra CM’s house did not have the intention of “subverting the government by violent means”, and although their statements are “blameworthy” they cannot be stretched too far to be brought under the ambit of the sedition charge.
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Hence, the court found out that prima facie, the charge under Indian Penal Code (IPC) section 124a (sedition) was not made out against the couple. This is a big jolt to the Maha Vikas Aghadi government as the court thrashed its frivolous sedition charges
Maharashtra government trampling opposition
Around 2 months back, the Leader of the Opposition and Former CM Devendra Fadnavis in the state assembly submitted 125-hours of “evidence” against the MVA government. He accused the MVA government of hatching a conspiracy to frame its opponents in false criminal cases. Moreover, the state government went after the journalist Arnab Goswami for his reportage against the MVA government and calling out their failures. The MVA government’s vendetta politics was also called out earlier when it illegally demolished the house of actress Kangana Ranaut.
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The MVA government has been incessantly using state machinery to frame political opponents. While they may get away with this vendetta politics for a while, they should not forget that ultimately they have to go amongst the citizens of the state for elections. As they well that in many elections as such vendetta politics doesn’t go down well with the voters. Moreover, they should not forget that the voters of Maharashtra had voted for a Hindutva coalition of BJP and Shiv Sena. Hence this jolt to the government should be seen as a wake-up call by the party and it should return to its old roots.