New Delhi: The Supreme Court (SC) will hear a petition filed by BJP candidate from Pilibhit Varun Gandhi on Monday challenging the slapping of National Security Act (NSA) by the Uttar Pradesh government against him for his alleged hate speeches.
The matter will be heard by a bench headed by chief justice K G Balakrishnan, which on 2 April had issued notices to the state government and the district magistrate of Pilibhit on the allegation by Varun that NSA was invoked against him with a political motive to sabotage his electoral debut.
However, the Uttar Pradesh government has refuted the allegations of the 29-year-old BJP leader, saying NSA was invoked against him for his communal speeches and the chaos created by him while surrendering before a court in Pilibhit in in connection with the cases registered against him.
In its 35-page response to the notice issued by the apex court, the state government said the inflammatory statement by Varun and the manner in which he surrendered on 28 March amounted to breach of public order, warranting invocation of the NSA against him.
Varun has challenged his detention under NSA for his alleged hate speeches in Pilibhit last month. He was taken to the Pilibhit district jail and later shifted to Etah jail for security reasons.
Varun has claimed that the district magistrate passed the order of invoking NSA without any authority and he was not supplied with the material which formed the basis for such an action.
However, the state government contended that there was no need for the authority to supply entire material, including the CDs of the speeches and events, relating to Varun’s surrender for booking him under NSA.
It denied the allegation that NSA was imposed against him with any political motive or to sabotage his electoral debut.
The petition filed on behalf of Varun says that “the entire attempt is a combined effort of the district magistrate of Pilibhit and Uttar Pradesh government to ensure that he is not able to contest and campaign for general elections so as to sabotage his electoral debut.”
The BJP leader has sought quashing of the district magistrate’s order invoking section 3(2) of NSA for allegedly making inflammatory statements and causing a breach of public order when he went to Pilibhit to surrender.
Varun has also alleged that he was detained under NSA as there was apprehension to Uttar Pradesh government that he will be released on bail in the cases registered against him for the hate speeches.
He claimed that there was a breach of peace on the day of his surrender due to brutality and excesses by the police.