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Raj Thackeray Cleared of Charges by Bombay High Court in 2008 Stone-Pelting Case

Bombay High Court Clears Raj Thackeray of Charges in 2008 Stone-Pelting Case

The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court, on April 18, dismissed the charges against Raj Thackeray, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief, in a criminal case dating back to 2008 [Raj Thackeray v. State of Maharashtra].

In the ruling, Justice Nitin B Suryawanshi emphasized the lack of evidence indicating Thackeray’s involvement in inciting the stone-pelting incident, rendering the charges baseless.

The case stemmed from an episode in October 2008, where MNS supporters purportedly pelted stones at a bus, causing damage to its front window and resulting in financial losses amounting to ₹5,000. Prior to the incident, the MNS workers reportedly chanted slogans in support of Raj Thackeray, and similar acts of vandalism were committed against three other buses.

Thackeray was implicated in the case on allegations of delivering provocative speeches against migrants from north India, whom he purportedly blamed for local unemployment, thus inciting the stone-pelting. He faced charges under Sections 143, 341, 336, 337, 427, and 109 of the Indian Penal Code.

Following the filing of a chargesheet, Thackeray sought discharge, which was denied by both the trial court and the sessions court. Subsequently, he appealed these decisions before the High Court.

Thackeray contended that mere slogans in his favor by co-accused individuals were insufficient grounds to implicate him in abetting the crime.

The High Court scrutinized the chargesheet and noted the absence of Thackeray’s purported provocative speech, which allegedly instigated the MNS workers. Additionally, no witness statements corroborated this claim.

The High Court’s decision effectively exonerates Thackeray from the allegations leveled against him in connection with the 2008 stone-pelting incident.

Click here to read the order

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