Varun Gandhi,the BJPs Lok Sabha candidate from Pilibhit,received a jolt on Wednesday after the Allahabad High Court rejected his criminal writ petition seeking a stay on his arrest and quashing of an FIR filed against him for allegedly making inflammatory speeches with communal overtones in Pilibhit earlier this month.
A division bench comprising Justices Imtiyaz Murtaza and S C Nigam observed,Having scanned the allegations contained in the FIR,the court is of the view that the allegations in the FIR do disclose the commission of cognisable offence and therefore no ground is made out warranting interference by this court.
Counsel for Gandhi Gopal Chaturvedi and Sikander Bharat Kochar said they had the option of appealing to the Supreme Court. In his petition,Gandhi claimed that the criminal case against him was filed as part of a political conspiracy.
The FIR against Gandhi was filed on March 17 at Barkheda police station in Pilibhit district under Sections 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion) and 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by a public servant) of the IPC and Section 125 of the Representation of the People Act. The Delhi HC has given him anticipatory bail till March 27.
Chief Standing Counsel M C Chaturvedi said it was up to the police to decide on arresting Gandhi after his bail period runs out. Chaturvedi added that the police should bear in mind that Gandhi is a candidate for the Lok Sabha elections,and that recent amendments in the CrPC do not allow the police to arrest anyone if there is no immediate apprehension of that person fleeing the country or threatening a witness. The HC observed that a full bench had,in the cases of Ajit Singh v State of UP and Satya Pal v State of UP,held that there could be no interference with the investigation unless a cognizable offence was not ex-facie discernible from the allegations in the FIR,or there was a statutory restriction operating on the power of the police to investigate a case. In this case,the investigation was still under way,and neither of these conditions were applicable,the judges said.
RAHUL SURPRISED BY VARUN SPEECH
Rahul Gandhi said in Puducherry on Wednesday that he was surprised by his cousin Varuns alleged hate speeches in Pilibhit. I am surprised by his views. Life is full of surprises, Rahul said. Those are his (Varuns) views. I have my views. I dont carry hate and anger with me. Hatred and anger blind you.