New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Wednesday suspended a non-bailable warrant (NBW) against Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackery on two complaints lodged for alleged hate speeches he made against the people of Bihar.
Justice Sunil Gaur granted the stay on the NBW issued by a trial court for allegedly promoting enmity between different groups. The court posted the matter for April 16.
Thackery moved the court and sought quashing of the summon orders passed in 2008 by a lower court at Muzaffarpur, Bihar.
The complaints for initiating proceedings against Thackery were made by lawyers Sudhir Kumar Ojha from Bihar and Sudhir Kumar from Jharkhand in 2008.
The lawyers said that Thackery had humiliated people from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in a February 2008 speech, while ridiculing the performance of Chhath Puja.
Justice Gaur also issued a notice to Sudhir Kumar Ojha and sought his response on the plea of Thackery.
The court granted exemption from personal appearance for a day to Thackery, who was to appear before a Delhi court Thursday in connection with the two cases.
Seeking exemption from personal appearance during trial court proceedings, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Thackery, said there are as many as 16 private criminal complaints against him that have been transferred to Delhi on an order from the Supreme Court.
Rohatgi added that the summons by the Muzaffarpur court had been issued on "bald complaints of a lawyer, and moreover the complaints do not satisfy the provisions of Section 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) of the Indian Penal Code."
He pleaded for quashing the summons passed by a lower court at Muzaffarpur Dec 15, 2008, and said the order was issued "without proper application of judicial mind and moreover no extract of the so-called speeches had been annexed with the complaints".
The trial court had issued summons against Thackeray after taking cognizance of the complaints against him.
The Supreme Court Jan 2010 clubbed together the cases registered against Thackeray in Bihar and Jharkhand for alleged hate speeches and transferred them to a Delhi court.