A Thane court on Wednesday granted bail to Marathi actor Ketaki Chitale who was arrested last month for sharing an alleged derogatory social media post about Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, Live Law reported.

The Maharashtra Police had arrested Chitale on May 14 after she shared a poem purportedly written by another person on Facebook.

The poem mentioned the Nationalist Congress Party chief’s last name and referred to a person aged above 80. The social media post said that “hell is waiting” for Pawar, and made references to his illness and appearance.

The poem also said that Pawar harbours hatred for Brahmins.

Swapnil Netke, a Nationalist Congress Party leader from Thane district, filed a complaint in the matter. The police filed a first information report against Chitale under Sections 500 (defamation), 501 (printing or engraving defamatory material) and 153A (promoting enmity between groups) of the Indian Penal Code.

The actor has over 20 cases registered against her. While she was granted bail by a Thane court on June 16, she continues to remain in jail due to the pending cases.

On Wednesday, Judge HM Patwardhan granted the 29-year-old actor bail in one of the cases after the Mumbai Police did not object to her release in their response filed a day ago, Live Law reported.

She will be released from the prison on a surety of Rs 20,000, PTI reported.

Advocate Ghanshyam Upadhyay, who is representing Chitale, told the court that the actor was served with a copy of the Section 41A notice under the Criminal Procedure Code moments before her arrest.

It is a notice issued to persons seeking their appearance before a police officer in cases where an arrest is not needed, Live Law reported.

Judge Patwardhan objected to this.

Meanwhile, Chitale has filed a plea in the Bombay High Court, stating that her arrest was not in accordance with the law. She has filed another petition, seeking directions to quash the first information reports against her. Her petitions are still pending in the High Court.

Case against a student

In a similar case, a pharmacy student was arrested last month for allegedly posting provocative tweets about Pawar.

On Tuesday, 21-year-old Nikhil Bhamre was granted bail by the Bombay High Court.

In his tweet, Bhamre had written that the “time has come for Baramati’s Gandhi... to create Nathuram Godse of Baramati”. Pune district’s Baramati is Pawar’s home turf. The pharmacy student, however, had not mentioned the name of any politician.

Bhamre was arrested by Dindori Police in Nashik and charged under Indian Penal Code Sections 153 (A) (promoting enmity between different groups), 500 (defamation), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 506 (criminal intimidation).

Six first information reports were filed against Bhamre in various police stations across Maharashtra. The High Court granted bail to him in two FIRs on Tuesday. It also directed the police not to arrest Bhamre on three FIRs. Bhamre has already been granted bail in the sixth FIR against him.