New Delhi: Fresh non-bailable warrants were issued on Friday against Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray by a Delhi court as he failed to appear before it to respond to two complaints accusing him of making hate speeches against north Indians, particularly Bihar natives, in 2008.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Manish Yaduvanshi ordered issuance of NBWs, returnable by November 17, against Thackeray after he failed to appear before the court in response to summons issued on August 31 and sought exemption from personal appearance.
The court noted that the NBWs were issued against the MNS chief by courts in Jamshedpur and Muzaffarpur on December 16, 2008 and November 11, 2009 respectively.
Following the issuance of NBWs by Jamshedpur and Muzaffarpur courts, the Supreme Court, on a plea by Thackeray that he cannot appear before courts in Bihar and Jharkhand due to threat to his life, had transferred the cases against him to the Delhi court last year.
The ACMM, however, today noted that "instead of applying for recall of NBWs (issued by Bihar and Jharkhand courts) and physically appearing and seeking bail, the accused has sought exemption”.
"The request of grant of exemption cannot be sustained. Let fresh NBWs be issued against the accused," the ACMM said.
The NBWs were issued in two complaints filed by Sudhir Kumar and Sudhir Kumar Ojha, both natives of Bihar, against Thackeray for his alleged remarks in 2008 against north Indians.
The MNS chief had allegedly termed `Chhath pooja`, a Hindu festival celebrated especially in Bihar, a "drama" and "show of numerical strength".
The ACMM, however, allowed Thackeray`s application for exemption in another case pertaining to the alleged attack by MNS supporters on north Indian students, especially those from Bihar, during their examinations in Mumbai on October 20, 2008 for jobs in Indian Railway.
The complaint case, initiated by an advocate Murad Ali, was also transferred by the apex court to Delhi from a court in Bettiah.
Thackeray had sought exemption from personal appearance in all the cases on the ground that he is a respectable person in Maharashtra and as MNS president, has been facing threat to his life for which he has been provided Y-category security.
He also said that he has to participate in the Ganesh festival.
The three complaint cases are among the seven cases transferred by the Supreme Court to Delhi in November 2011. Of the seven cases, five were registered in Jharkhand and two in Bihar by different individuals.