Varun to move Supreme Court, legal action must says Nitish (Roundup)

March 25th, 2009 - 8:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi/Lucknow, March 25 (IANS)With Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Varun Gandhi threatening to move the Supreme Court after an Uttar Pradesh court Wednesday ruled that there was a strong case against him for his alleged communal speeches, the party’s key ally Nitish Kumar of the Janata Dal-United fuelled the controversy by stating that “legal action” should be taken against Gandhi.
The Allahabad High Court, while refusing to intervene in the arrest of the budding politician, who is in the dock for his alleged communal speeches that has led to a criminal case being filed against him, said there was a strong case against the BJP’s Pilibhit candidate who, while hogging the headlines, has been protesting his innocence.

“Prima facie, there is a strong case against him,” said a division bench of judges Imtiaz Murtaza and Subhash Chandra Nigam.

Making it clear that they were not prepared to stay his arrest, the judges also declined to go into Varun Gandhi’s request for anticipatory bail on grounds that he had already obtained that from the Delhi High Court.

“When the Delhi High Court has granted anticipatory bail, then why must you seek the same relief from a lateral court?” Murtaza wondered.

Police in Pilibhit have booked Varun Gandhi under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Representation of People Act for “promoting enmity” and for acts “prejudicial to maintenance of harmony”.

The non-bailable case against Varun Gandhi, who said the CDs of his speeches were doctored, was lodged in Pilibhit’s Barkheda police station following a directive from the Election Commission to Uttar Pradesh’s chief electoral officer.

“We will be moving the Supreme Court, since Varun has no criminal record the police does not has the right to arrest him,” said his counsel Gopal Chaturvedi after the hearing.

Adding fuel to the ongoing political storm, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who was in the capital Wednesday, said it was his clear opinion that legal action should be taken against Varun Gandhi.

“I feel he cannot escape legal action,” said Nitish Kumar, an important member of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), who was quick to add that his party was not an advisor to any political party and could not give them suggestions on whether to “allow anybody to contest or not”.

In Puducherry, where he is campaigning for the Congress party, cousin Rahul Gandhi said he was “surprised” by Varun Gandhi’s remarks. He was speaking on the issue for the first time after his sister, Priyanka instructed Varun Gandhi to go back and read the Gita again.

“I am surprised by his views. Life is full of surprises,” Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi said at a press conference in Puducherry.

He said Varun Gandhi’s speeches were his “personal views”.

“”hose are his views. I have my views. I don’t carry hate and anger with me. Hatred and anger blind you,”"Rahul Gandhi said, when asked to respond to the alleged communally charged speeches.

However, the BJP stuck to its guns, undeterred by Nitish Kumar’s comments, saying he was free to hold his opinion but Varun Gandhi would remain the party’s candidate.

“”e have already distanced ourselves from the comments attributed to him. But he has said that the tapes were doctored,”"BJP leader Ravishankar Prasad said.

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