Former minister Narayan Rane and his son Nitesh Rane, accused of making remarks against the Gujarati community in the social media, failed to appear before the Bombay High Court on Thursday in response to notices issued to them based on a public interest litigation.
The father-son duo did not appear either personally or through their lawyers, after which Justice Anoop Mohata deferred the matter by four weeks, reiterating an earlier court order asking the Maharashtra state government to submit a status report on a probe against the Ranes.
On his Twitter account, Nitesh Rane had taken strong exception to the Gujarati community in Mumbai rooting for Narendra Modi and said the community should move back to Gujarat if it admired Modi so much.
After it became controversial, Narayan Rane who was state industries minister, clarified that his son Nitesh merely talked about those Gujaratis who admired Gujarat more than Maharashtra.
Petitioner Bhagwanji Rayani demanded that the father-son duo should be prosecuted under Section 153-A of Indian Penal Code for “promoting enmity between different groups”.
A complaint was lodged against the Ranes at the Khar police station, but the police took no action because of their political clout, the PIL said, demanding a probe by the CBI or any other independent agency.