Finally, some respite for Ranaut sisters Kangana and Rangoli, as they have been given interim protection from arrest in the FIR registered against them for alleged communal tweets.

Kangana and Rangoli get interim protection by Bombay HC, asked to appear before Mumbai Police on January 8

Kangana Ranaut and Rangoli

Ranaut and her sister were granted protection from arrest by the Bombay High Court on Tuesday in connection with an FIR registered against her under sedition and other charges. However, she has been asked to appear before Mumbai Police on January 8.

As reported by a portal, in the course of the hearing, the Bench observed orally that there is a trend, to add the offence of sedition under Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code, to complaints filed against those who speak against the government.

On Tuesday, the court said that three summonses were issued by the police and the same need to be honoured. Kangana and Rangoli's advocate Rizwan Siddiquee then assured the court that the sisters should appear before the Bandra police in Mumbai on January 8 from 12 pm to 2 pm for the recording of their statements.

In the meantime, as directed by the Court, they will be shielded from any coercive action in respect of the summons issued by the Mumbai Police. The hearing of the plea, following the grant of the interim relief, was adjourned until 11 January 2021, when it will be heard on the merits.

Kangana and Rangoli

The plea filed on  November 23, 2020, through Advocate Rizwan Siddiquee for quashing of the FIR registered by the police

As reported by a portal, the plea states that the Magistrate failed to apply his mind when a common order was passed for complaints against two separate individuals. It alleges that the Magistrate did not check the content of the complaint, which was "absolutely vague and with no proper references".

The plea further points out that the order failed to justify how the tweets disclosed any of the offences alleged in the complaint filed with the Magistrate.

The plea states:

Merely inciting the feelings of one community or group without reference to any other community or group cannot attract the provisions of Section 153A of IPC...Citizen has a right to say or write whatever he likes about the Government by way of criticism or comments so long as it does not incite people to resort to violence. The impugned tweets merely seek to voice the opinion and the view of the author. It is surely not a call for arms.

The petitioners have also highlighted the zero conviction rate in sedition cases from 2016 to 2018, placing reliance on the records of the National Crime Records Bureau.

The conviction rate is zero, making it abundantly clear that the cases are filed with mischievous intent just to cause harassment of the person.

Times when Ranaut sisters were summoned

For the unversed, the sisters were summoned twice before - on October 26 and 27 and on November 9 and 10 - but they did not appear before the police. They had said through their lawyer that they were busy with their brother's wedding in Himachal Pradesh till November 15.

Mumbai Police then issued a third notice ordering Kangana Ranaut and Rangoli Chandel to appear for questioning.

Why was the FIR lodged?

The FIR was registered pursuant to orders passed by the Bandra magistrate's court directing the police to carry out an inquiry against Kangana and Rangoli following a complaint lodged against them for allegedly "trying to create hatred and communal tension" through their social media posts.

Controversies that Kangana has been surrounded with

The actor has become Queen of controversies this year because of an ugly face-off with Mumbai Police and the Maharashtra government over her criticism of the Sushant Singh Rajput investigation. She has time and again compared Mumbai to PoK.