Apex court releases Varun Gandhi for two weeks (Lead)April 16th, 2009 - 8:31 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, April 16 (IANS) The Supreme Court Thursday ordered Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Pilibhit candidate Varun Gandhi’s release for two weeks from preventive detention in Uttar Pradish’s Etah jail to enable him contest the Lok Sabha elections.
A bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishanan, Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice J.M. Panchal, however, stipulated that Varun Gandhi will make no provocative speeches disturbing communal peace during his poll campaign.
The release was ordered pending a final decision on Varun Gandhi’s lawsuit challenging his detention under the stringent National Security Act (NSA) by the Uttar Pradesh government.
The bench ordered his temporary release dismissing the Uttar Pradesh government’s stiff opposition.
Varun Gandhi was released after he submitted an affidavit to Etah jail authorities, as per the court’s directive, swearing that he would not make provocative speeches during the poll campaign.
He will be filing a similar affidavit to the Supreme Court by Monday.
“With regard to the facts and circumstances, we are inclined to release him for two weeks on parole,” said the bench.
The bench, however, added: “He will have to give an undertaking to the Etah jail superintendent that he will not make any statement violating the provisions of sections 153 A and B of the Indian Penal Code.”
The two provisions of the IPC prevent a person from creating or triggering any communal or sectarian strife “on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony by his actions or speech”.
They also provide a jail term for three years for creating communal disharmony.
The bench also asked him to file a personal bond of Rs.50,000 with two sureties of like amount.
The court stipulated that he should keep the Pilibhit district magistrate apprised of his whereabouts.
The court clarified, on insistence by the Uttar Pradesh government counsel Harish Salve, that “the release order was without prejudice to either parties” and did not speak of the merit of the Pilibhit magistrate’s detention order under NSA.
The bench adjourned hearing on Varun Gandhi’s lawsuit to May 1.
He was arrested March 28 after a series of poll campaign speeches allegedly vilifying Muslims.
Tags: affidavit, apex court, bharatiya janata party, communal disharmony, district magistrate, indian penal code, jail authorities, jail term, lok sabha elections, national security act, panchal, personal bond, poll campaign, preventive detention, rs 50, sectarian strife, stiff opposition, sureties, uttar pradesh government, varun gandhi