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SC grants Varun two weeks’ parole

The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the release of BJP leader Varun Gandhi,detained under the National Security Act,on parole for two weeks...

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi |
April 17, 2009 2:40:49 am

The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the release of BJP leader Varun Gandhi,detained under the National Security Act,on parole for two weeks,provided he furnished an undertaking to desist from making any hate speeches during the elections.

“Having regard to the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case,we are inclined to release him on parole for two weeks on condition that he will give an undertaking before the Superintendent of Etah Jail that he will not make such speeches during the parole,which is likely to cause communal disturbance and hatred among any caste and community,” noted a three-member Bench,headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan,ignoring the opposition from the state government.

Reacting to the submission by Gandhi’s counsel Mukul Rohtagi that an undertaking had already been filed,UP’s counsel Harish Salve complained that the state had not been given any copy of the undertaking. “He could still be a problem for public order,” Salve contended.

The Bench,too,disapproved of his affidavit as it said the contents of the undertaking could not be of his choice. “We will give the nature of the undertaking to be filed by Varun,” the Bench observed. “This is not sufficient. You should indicate what sort of undertaking you are giving.”

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Besides the Superintendent of Etah Jail,Gandhi has been told to file a similar undertaking to the Supreme Court as well. Listing the matter for hearing on May 1,the Bench has also ordered Gandhi to furnish a personal bond of Rs 50,000 and two sureties of the like amount before the Pilibhit District Magistrate.

Varun release a threat to public order: Maya
Lucknow: Refusing to comment on the merits of the Supreme court order to release BJP leader Varun Gandhi on two weeks’ parole,Chief Minister Mayawati said on Thursday that his release could be a threat to public order.

“How can I comment on the merits of the court’s order? But the release of Varun Gandhi on parole could pose a threat to public order and harmony,” said Mayawati,addressing a media conference. “The UP government was against the release and the government’s counsel in the Supreme Court vehemently opposed it,” she said.

Mayawati said former BJP chief minister Kalyan Singh,too,had submitted an affidavit in the Supreme Court in December 1992,giving an undertaking assuring the safety of the disputed structure at Ayodhya. But the structure was later demolished. “We must not forget that Varun Gandhi belongs to same BJP,whose chief minister had acted against the undertaking he gave the Supreme Court.”

Warning Gandhi,Mayawati said he would face stricter legal action if he violates the undertaking about refraining from inflammatory speeches. Asked what the “stricter” action would be,she said “let the situation arise”.

Asked about the stand of UP government before the advisory board meeting on April 18,Mayawati said: “We are for the invocation of NSA against Gandhi. The law will take its own course.”

The BJP,meanwhile,condemned Mayawati for “threatening,” Gandhi. Party spokesman HN Dikshit said the statement is an open threat to Gandhi and is against the Constitution.

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