Varun Gandhi,the BJPs Lok Sabha candidate from Pilibhit,received a jolt on Wednesday after the Allahabad High Court rejected his 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.
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 High Court 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.
Meanwhile,on Wednesday,Gandhi received support from Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray who wrote in Saamna that there is nothing wrong in what he has said. He is one Gandhi we like. Other NDA constituents,however,didnt agree with this perception. If anybody who is in politics and in public life…makes such statements,there is a law and action should be taken against him, said Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar here.
Varuns alleged anti-Sikh comments too have not gone down well with a section of the BJP.
(With ENS Delhi)
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