Wednesday, August 9, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Dismissal of Thackeray case improper: HC

MUMBAI, Aug 8 (PTI) — The Mumbai High Court today termed as “improper” the dismissal of riots cases against Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, and admitted the state government’s appeal against it saying that “it was arguable”.

Admitting a petition challenging the July 25 order by a local magistrate closing the cases against Thackeray and two others for alleged inflammatory writings in the party’s mouthpiece, “Saamna”, during the communal riots in early 1993, Mr Justice Vishnu Sahai did not list the reasons for his order.

In a jam-packed court, he observed he was not listing the reasons in writing in order to “prevent any prejudice during the final hearing of the case”. Elaborating orally on the prima facie reasons for admitting the appeal, Mr Justice Sahai said the local magistrate had “misconstrued” the word “cognizance” in the CrPC. The magistrate had also failed to consider the three options of granting judicial custody, police custody and bail as was required in a case based on a remand application, the judge said.

Stating the third reason of propriety, he said: “Justice should not be just done but should appear to be done”, which apparently did not happen in this case. Mr Thackeray was on July 25 discharged by Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate P. Kamble on the ground that the case filed against him by the state government under Section 153 (A) of IPC was “time barred”. Refusing to stay the magistrate’s order, the judge told the public prosecutor that the prayer for stay should be made to the Chief Justice of India instead of the high court.

The judge observed that he could not stay the order as the admission of the appeal currently was only on basis of “prima facie reasons” and that views could change by the final hearing of the case and that he did not wish to be “unfair” to respondents.

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