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Supreme court rap for Raj Thackeray
Rakesh Bhatnagar
Friday, February 22, 2008  13:15 IST

But declines to entertain petitions, directs them to Bombay HC

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday administered a rap on the knuckles to Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray for his verbal attacks on non-Maharashtrians working in the state, which lead to violence and intimidation by party cadres. The court warned him that it would not permit the �balkanisation� of the country.

�We understand the situation there [in Maharashtra] and what is happening,� a bench headed by chief justice KG Balakrishnan observed while hearing a petition seeking stern action against the MNS chief and calling for the derecognition of his party.

While declining to pass any direction on two pleas, the bench observed: �This is one country and we will not accept [the] sons of the soil theory.�  

The bench was hearing petitions relating to the MNS-orchestrated violence which forced hundreds of non-Maharashtrian workers to flee from their places of work, especially in Mumbai, Pune and Nashik.

Raj Thackeray is currently on bail in a case where he has been accused of trying to create a regional divide.

The judges said since one petition related to law and order, the petitioner could move the Bombay high court or the state government. The court also declined to act on a petition for derecognition of the MNS, which was within the jurisdiction of the Election Commission. �How can this court issue mandamus when you have not gone to the EC,� the bench asked.

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