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After SC rap, Maya withdraws NSA against Varun Gandhi

After SC rap, Maya withdraws NSA against Varun Gandhi

Author: Pioneer News Service
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: May 15, 2009
URL: http://www.dailypioneer.com/176358/After-SC-rap-Maya-withdraws-NSA-against-Varun-Gandhi.html

After relentlessly pursuing Varun Gandhi for over a month and a half, an obstinate Uttar Pradesh Government on Thursday finally saw the writing on the wall and revoked the imposition of National Security Act (NSA) on him. The decision came after the Supreme Court rubbished the State's objection to implement the directives of the Advisory Board that called for the revocation of the Act.

On May 8, a three-member Advisory Board of judges held the NSA against Varun unsustainable. It recommended the State Government to implement its direction and revoke the ban. The State Government, however, preferred to challenge this order before the Supreme Court that was heard by the apex court on Thursday.

Varun had also filed a fresh petition before the apex court challenging the State Government's action to oppose the Advisory Board's order directing his release.

Finding himself in a peculiar situation, Varun, through his counsel senior advocate Mukul Rohtagi, argued that by its present action the State Government violated his fundamental rights a second time around. Varun had been granted a two-week parole by the Supreme Court on May 1 to fight the Lok Sabha election as Bharatiya Janata Party candidate from Pilibhit (Uttar Pradesh).

"How can the State Government say it would not follow the Advisory Board's decision when it is binding on it," argued Rohtagi. He even expressed surprise on how the State could have refused to implement the May 8 order on the ground that the Advisory Board did not hear the District Magistrate. "What is the game being played," Rohtagi asked, adding, "This is clear subversion of law."

The Bench of Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan and Justices P Sathasivam and Deepak Verma found sufficient grounds to corner the State Government. But it seemed the State Government had surrendered its cause even before it entered the court since solidity of its defence, usually supplied by senior advocate Harish Salve was missing. While Salve watched the proceedings with rapt attention in the court, the State roped in its trusted lieutenants Advocate General Jyotendra Mishra and Additional Advocate General Shail Dwivedi, who proved to be no match for Rohtagi.

The Advocate General contended that the board did not hear the District Magistrate. In reply the Bench said, "Why you were not present. Your Additional District Magistrate was there. You should have sought adjournment. These are not grounds to challenge the order of the board."

With the State arguing little, the court was convinced to pass an order quashing the order of detention. But the Additional AG Dwivedi stepped in with an offer to revoke the ban. The Bench noted, "In view of the State's submission, the order of detention be revoked forthwith."

Welcoming the Supreme Court order, the BJP said invocation of NSA was an "act of vendetta" on the part of the BSP and Congress.

Congress spokesperson Rajiv Shukla said the episode would not help Varun as "the BJP leadership will ultimately dump him."

Another Congress leader Satyavrat Chaturvedi said the young leader will turn out to be more of a "liability" and not an asset for the BJP.

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