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In snub to Maya, Court panel says can't slap NSA on Varun

In snub to Maya, Court panel says can't slap NSA on Varun

Author: Express News Service
Publication: The Indian Express
Date: May 9, 2009
URL: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/in-snub-to-maya-court-panel-says-cant-slap-nsa-on-varun/456711/0

His Hate Speech: Order invalid, says board; state plans to raise matter with SC

In an embarrassment to UP Chief Minister Mayawati a day after she again justified her government's decision to invoke the National Security Act against BJP's Pilibhit candidate Varun Gandhi over his alleged hate-speeches against Muslims, an advisory board of the Allahabad High Court recommended revocation of the order, saying the use of the Act against Gandhi was incorrect and invalid.

The advisory board's recommendation is binding on the state government but it plans to raise it in the Supreme Court where Gandhi's case is still under consideration.

Reacting to the advisory board's decision, BJP general secretary Arun Jaitley said: "The UP government invoked the NSA against Varun and the UPA government refused to revoke it. This was evidence of votebank politics. It (the board decision) is a major embarrassment for the UP government and Central government. It vindicates the position of the BJP."

On its part, the Uttar Pradesh government has decided to move the Supreme Court. Giving this information, a State Home Department spokesman said the District Magistrate, Pilibhit, had asked for time to present his case before the Advisory Board. But he was not given time to plead his case. He said the Board has given its opinion without considering all the facts, which was totally unjustified. The case of Varun Gandhi was still under the consideration of the Supreme Court. So a decision had been taken to file a petition in the Supreme Court against the advice of the Advisory Board, he said.

Gandhi was granted parole by the Supreme Court for two weeks in April which was later extended till May 14. On April 28, he had moved the advisory board against the NSA order. The board is headed by Justice Pradeep Kant, senior High Court judge, and has two retired High Court judges S K Sahay and P K Sareen. In his representation, Gandhi claimed that the UP government invoked the NSA against him out of "political vendetta".

He was booked under the NSA on March 29 for allegedly making communal speeches in Pilibhit and inciting supporters to riot on March 28 when he went to surrender before a Pilibhit court. Gandhi spent 20 days in jail before the Supreme Court granted him parole.

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