Union minister arrest - LAW INSIDER

By Samriddhi Thakar

Published on : August 31, 2021 14:25 IST


A feud between allies turned rivals Bharatiya Janta Party and Shiv Sena took place two to three days ago where the Rajya Sabha member and Union Minister Narayan Rane was arrested for his remark on Chief Minister of Maharashtra Uddhav Thackeray.

 While giving a speech in Jan Ashirwad Yatra, Rane said :

it is shameful that the Chief Minister does not know the year of independence. He leaned back to enquire about count of years of independence during his speech. Had I been there, I would have given (him) tight slap.”[i]

This statement made by Rane irked the supporters and leaders of Shiv Sena and hence multiple FIRs were reported against him in Mahad, Nashik, Pune, and Thane. At various places, clashes took place between Rane supporters and Senaworkers.

Thus, this article deals with the process of arresting the union minister and gives a brief idea about the Narayan Rane incident.

Can Union Minister be arrested in India?

The answer to the question is Yes.

In India, Union Minister can be arrested for any criminal charge against him or her. Generally, immunity is given to the minister in case of civil matters. But Union Minister can be arrested for any criminal act done by him or her.

What is the process of arresting the Union Minister?

The Rules of Procedures and Conduct of Business of Rajya Sabha states the process of arresting a minister.

Section 22A of the above-mentioned rules states that the Police, Judge, or Magistrate should inform the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha about the reason for arrest, place of detention, or imprisonment in detail.

Further, if the Rajya Sabha is in session, the Chairman or speaker has to intimate the Council about the arrest of such a minister.

If the Rajya Sabha is not in session, the Chairman or the speaker has to publish the same in the bulletin for the knowledge of the members.

According to law, if an arrest is to be made on the premises of Parliament, prior permission of the Chairman is necessary. However, in Rane’s case, as the House was not in session, prior permission of the Chairman of Rajya Sabha was not necessary.

However, it is to be noted that this section has been omitted from the Rules of Procedures and Conduct of Business of Rajya Sabha. Currently, there are no rules regarding arrest of the ministers. 

As we have seen that Section 22A of the rules states the procedure of arrest in case the house is in the session. But how can arrest take place when the house is not in session? So, in that case, the union minister can be arrested by a law enforcement agency in case if any criminal case is registered against him.

Therefore, in Rane’s case, as the house was not in session, he was directly arrested by the police.

What privileges are available to the Member of Parliament vis-à-vis arrests?

Certain privileges are granted to the members of parliament regarding the arrest. Section 135A of the Civil Procedure Code states that the members of parliament enjoy immunity from arrest during the continuance of a joint sitting, meeting, conference, or joint committee of the Houses of Parliament, during forty days before and forty days after such meeting.[ii]

However, this immunity is not available in case of arrest in relation to criminal offenses or cases of detention under preventive detention.

As mentioned above, no person can be arrested from the precincts of the House without prior permission of the Chairman/Speaker. This also extends if the House is not in session. Further, one can be arrested from the House only in accordance with the procedure authorized by the Home Ministry in this regard.

Thus, these are some of the privileges available to the members of parliament.

Who is Narayan Rane?

Narayan Tatu Rane is an Indian politician who hails from Maharashtra. He is the former Chief Minister of Maharashtra. Currently, he is serving as Minister of Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

Earlier, he was a member of Shiv Sena. Then he joined Indian National Congress and he resigned from that party in September 2017. Later, he established his own party named Maharashtra Swabhiman Paksha. However, he declared his support for Bharatiya Janata Party. Finally, on 15th October 2019, he joined Bharatiya Janata Party by merging his party.

He has launched Marathi Daily Prahar on 8th October 2008, under the name of Rane Prakashan Pvt. Ltd. He serves as Consulting Editor.

Why is Narayan Rane in news?

Recently, in a Jan Ashirwad Yatra, while addressing the rally, Union Minister and Rajya Sabha member Narayan Rane took a dig at Chief Minister of Maharashtra Uddhav Thackeray. He said that he would have slapped him for not knowing the count of Indian independence and for taking the help of the aide for the same during the Independence Day speech.

Due to his jibe on the Chief Minister of Maharashtra clashes took place between the two parties supporters and multiple FIRs were registered against him in Mahad, Nashik, Pune, and Thane.

He was charged with relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code such as Section 153 (Wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot),Section 159 (Committing affray),Section 499 (Defamation), Section 503 (Criminal intimidation), Section 504 (Intentional insult to provoke breach of peace), Section 505 (Public mischief), etc.

Therefore, Rane was arrested in Ratnagiri and brought before a magistrate’s Court in Raigad’s Mahad taluka.After spending nine hours in the custody, he was released on bail on furnishing a bail bond of Rs.15,000at midnight. Further, he was asked not to commit a similar type of offense in the future.

Narayan Rane is the first sitting Union Cabinet minister to be arrested in the last 20 years by the State Police.

Bharatiya Janata Party’s president J P Nadda called the arrest of Rane “a violation of constitutional values.”[iii]

Bharatiya Janata Party’s leader and former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that the BJP does not stand by union minister Narayan Rane’s statement but will stand by him if the government resorts to misusing the police force against him.[iv]

Sharad Pawar Chief of Nationalist Congress Party stated that “I do not want to get into this matter. He (Rane) is acting as per his sanskar. I do not give any importance to this issue.”[v]

Many leaders condemned the act of Rane while some supported the same.

Rane in response to his arrest said that his statement was justified as the Chief Minister should not be ignorant about India’s independence. He further, cited that similar language was used by Uddhav Thackeray in 2018 against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath wherein he had said that he felt like slapping UP Chief Minister with footwear for showing disrespect to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj by not removing footwear before garlanding his portrait.[vi]

However, Thackeray was not arrested for making such statements. Therefore, Rane called his arrest vindictive and said that he would pursue legal action.

Senior counsel Rajendra Shirodkar appearing for Rane said that no custodial interrogation was required. Further, as per Section 41A of the Criminal Procedure Code, a notice is to be issued to a person for his or her appearance at the police station and give an explanation before the arrest takes place. A person is to be arrested only after giving proper reasons. [vii]

However, in the present case, no such notice was issued to Rane and he was directly taken by the police to the police station without giving him time for explanation. He also said that the arrest of Narayan Rane was politically motivated.


Currently, there are no rules to prevent arrests of a sitting union minister as the section has been omitted. Hence, it is a grey area and the government should take efforts to amend the rules and bring uniform rules regarding the arrest of ministers.

Further, as mentioned above Narayan Rane has been arrested for his remark on Uddhav Thackeray some people are of the view that it is a political vendetta against the Bharatiya Janata Party while some believe that the arrest was justified. 

Hence, it raises two questions if Narayan Rane’s arrest is politically motivated, and should the politicians mind their language?

Therefore, it is upon the people to decide what is the correct move.


[i] Arresting a Union Minister (last visited on 28th August 2021)

[ii]The Civil Procedure Code, Sec 135A

[iii]  Arresting a Union Minister (last visited on 28th August 2021)

[iv]The Times of India(last visited on 28th August 2021)

[v] Geetanjali Minhas, Rane arrested for ‘tight slap’ remark against Thackeray “GOVERNANCE now” (last visited on 28th August 2021)

[vi]Hindustan Times (last visited on 28th August 2021)

[vii]The Code of Criminal Procedure, Sec 41A

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