Apex court refuses to stay warrant against Raj Thackeray


New Delhi : The Supreme Court Monday refused to annul an arrest warrant issued against Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray's estranged nephew Raj Thackeray by a Jharkhand court for his alleged provocative statements against the people of Bihar.

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A bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat and D.K. Jain refused to grant the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief a reprieve from the Jameshedpur court order saying that he can move the high court in the state.

With the bench showing disinclination to intervene, Thackeray's counsel Mukul Rohtagi withdrew the petition by his client seeking suspension of the arrest warrant and shifting of the case to a Mumbai court.

Thackeray had approached the court against the May 23 order of the Jamshedpur court over his allegedly provocative statement against the people of Bihar two months ago. The court had issued the warrant after he failed to respond to its summons.

The arrest warrant was issued on a complaint filed by Sudhir Kumar Pappu, a Jamshedpur-based advocate who had alleged that Thackeray's remarks against non-Maharashtrians, particularly the Biharis, were not only objectionable but also a deliberate attempt to flare up regionalism and casteism in the country.

While refusing to entertain the petition, the bench observed that even the petitioner, who has filed the petition in Jamshedpur, can also approach the apex court and seek transfer of a similar case registered against Thackeray in Mumbai.