MUMBAI: A metropolitan magistrate in Mumbai on Monday, granted bail to Nagpur resident Sameet Thakkar who was arrested by Mumbai police for his allegedly offensive tweets over Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray and his son Aditya Thackeray, a minister too.
Earlier on Monday, the Supreme Court declined to entertain a petition under Article 32 of the Indian Constitution, filed by Thakkar to seek his release with his counsel Mahesh Jethmalani alleging violation of his fundamental rights in a wrongful arrest. He also wanted consolidation of all three criminal cases registered against him in Nagpur and Mumbai and to ensure a single probe. Rahul Chitnis, the Maharashtra state counsel in the SC said Thakkar was in police custody of the BKC Cyber police station and his next remand date was November 16. Chitnis said “his interrogation is complete and we have no objection if submits a bail application.’’
Thakkar has a case in Nagpur and two cases against him in Mumbai, one at VP Road police station and the other at the BKC cyber police. He was arrested on October 24 and sent to police custody. He was re-arrested, a third time by the BKC police after he got bail.
Earlier Bombay high court at its principal bench in Mumbai on October 12 had asked Thakkar to appear before the BKC cyber police station between 11 am and 1 pm on Friday (October 16) and also at VP Marg between 3 and 5 pm on the same day to record his statement and hand over his cell phone for investigation.
The case against him is of alleged obscenity and ‘hate speech’ for certain social media post against the CM and Aditya Thackeray.
Sameet’s counsel had before the HC sought permission for his lawyer to remain present during the questioning, within sight but out of earshot. Deepak Thakre public prosecutor had even said if such an application is made, it would be allowed.
Thakre had also said that police were aware of provisions of section 41A of criminal procedure code which requires reasons in writing in case of an arrest when notice is given to an accused seeking his explanation.
However, he did not appear before the Mumbai police on October 16. He was arrested then in connection with the Nagpur case from Rajkot.
The FIR against Thakkar with the BKC Cyber police was based on a complaint filed by Dharmendra Mishra, a lawyer with the Shiv Sena party.