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Marathi Actor Ketaki Chitale’s Judicial Custody Extended Over Alleged Defamatory Post on NCP Chief Sharad Pawar

Photo Source: Ketaki Chitale Instagram

The judicial custody of Ketaki Chitale, the Marathi actor who was booked for posting alleged defamatory content on social media aimed at Rajya Sabha member and National Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, has been extended to 14 days.


On May 13, the 29-year-old actor, had posted a poem in Marathi, attributed to one Nitin Bhave. The poem mentioned the surname Pawar and without taking his name, allegedly made derogatory remarks about Pawar’s illness, appearance and voice and also called him ‘corrupt’ and “jealous of Brahmins”.

A day after the above post, on May 14, the Thane crime branch booked the actor under sections 500 (defamation), 501 (printing or engraving defamatory matter) and 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc, and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) of the Indian Penal Code.

However, Chitale was then detained by the police on May 14 before she was declared arrested.

The next day, on May 15, Chitale was remanded to judicial custody by a holiday magistrate at the Thane court till Wednesday.

As per police’s claims, in the initial investigation, the post in question has been in circulation since 2020 and sharing it could be an effort to disturb the peace and instigate a law and order situation. The police official also reportedly added that all the people who have shared the post will now be summoned.

The remand report also mentioned that the police are investigating the actor’s intention behind posting such content and the use of the word raada, which is slang for “fight” in Marathi, in the post. The police also claimed that the actor had straight away refused to delete the post and has not ‘shown any regret’ regarding the same.

Pertaining to the same case, the Powai police also filed a First Information Report against Chitale which takes the number of FIRs against her to six including Bhoiwada and Goregaon.


Update: Following the extension of the judicial custody, Chitale moved the Thane court on Wednesday seeking bail based on the fact that the poem was about some ‘Pawar’ and not the NCP chief and no one named Pawar has filed a complaint against her. Another ground on which she sought bail is that the Thane Crime Branch has allegedly committed serious errors by arresting her on the basis of her words by applying Sections 505(2), 153A and 500 of the IPC and that the police had no authority to arrest Chitale without issuing a notice as under Section 41A of the CrPC and reiterated by the Supreme Court in Arnesh Kumar guidelines. The hearing for her bail has been scheduled for Friday.