A sessions court on Tuesday directed the Mumbai Police to file its response to a bail application filed by Independent MP Navneet Rana and her husband MLA Ravi Rana in a sedition case, Bar and Bench reported.

Special Judge RN Rokade directed the Mumbai Police to file its reply by Friday. The judge said that if possible, the bail application will be heard on the same day.

On April 23, the Mumbai Police had arrested the couple for threatening to recite the Hanuman Chalisa – a hymn dedicated to Hindu deity Hanuman – in front of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s home.

The police had registered a first information report under Sections 124A (sedition), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code against the couple.

A day later, a magistrate court remanded them to 14-day judicial custody.

However, since the sedition case in the first information report is exclusively triable in the sessions court, the couple withdrew their bail application before the magistrate court and filed a new one in the sessions court on Monday, reported Bar and Bench.

“It is submitted that by no stretch of imagination can the acts of the applicants be stated to constitute the offence of sedition,” the plea stated, reported PTI.

When the application was heard on Tuesday, the Mumbai Police said they want to respond to the application through an affidavit. The court agreed and gave the police time until Friday.

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