A Magistrate court in Mumbai issued non-bailable warrants (NBW) against the MP from Amravati, Navneet Rana and her father, on the caste certificate issue. This is the second time that NBWs were issued against both of them in the last month.
The seat where Rana was elected is a reserved seat for scheduled castes. Rana had claimed that she was from the scheduled caste and had thus stood for the election. However, a case was registered against her and her father at Mulund police station in Mumbai for fraudulently obtaining a caste certificate by forging her school-leaving certificate.
In this case, Mulund police station has filed a chargesheet against Rana alias Navneet Kaur Harbhajan Singh Kundles and her father Harbhajan Singh Ram Singh Kundles.
Earlier, in 2021, Rana was ordered by the Bombay High Court to surrender her certificate after it concluded that it was obtained fraudulently. The high court had concluded that “the application (for a caste certificate) was made intentionally (by Rana) to make a fraudulent claim to enable her to contest the election for the post of Member of Parliament on a seat reserved for a Scheduled Caste candidate.”
Rana had then approached the Supreme Court, which stayed the high court order.
However, the proceedings in the Magistrate court where the chargesheet was filed, continued.
The court, during the last hearing on September 6, had allowed the exemption application filed by Rana and her father and had kept the case for framing of charges against the accused.
On September 22, neither Navneet Rana nor her father appeared and their lawyer filed two applications. By one application, they sought exemption; by the other, they sought adjournment. Rana’s legal team is of the opinion that since the Supreme Court is going to hear the caste certificate issue, until then the Magistrate court should not proceed with the framing of charges.
Rana’s legal team has also approached the Mumbai sessions court to seek a stay on the process of framing of charges against Rana and her father by the Magistrate court. The Mumbai sessions court will be hearing that application on September 30.
In the meantime, on Thursday, the Magistrate court, after rejecting both the applications filed by Rana’s legal team, issued the NBWs.
This is the second time that non-bailable warrants were issued by the court. Earlier, NBWs were issued on August 22 following which Navneet Rana and her father appeared before the court on August 25. Thus, the court cancelled the warrant “subject to a penalty of Rs 200 each.”
After issuing the second NBW on Thursday, the Magistrate adjourned the case for the “NBW report” from the police on October 4.