Varun Gandhi deposes before NSA board in Lucknow

Varun Gandhi deposes before NSA board in LucknowLucknow, April 28: BJP’s firebrand leader Varun Gandhi on Tuesday deposed before the National Security Act board here following recent directions of the Supreme Court justifying imposition of the NSA against him in connection with his hate-speech.

Sources said that the deposition before the NSA board took place in camera.

Earlier, BJP supporters gave a rousing welcome to Varun on his arrival in the city by helicopter. He was escorted to the party headquarters where he reportedly addressed the gathering.

Las month, the Uttar Pradesh police booked Varun Gandhi, the Bharatiya Janata Party''s candidate from Pilibhit, under the stringent National Security Act, charging him under the NSA for allegedly inciting communal tension and provoking a riot by his supporters. He was booked under Section 2 and Section 3 of the NSA.

Pilibhit’s District Magistrate Ajay Chauhan had issued the order to invoke NSA on Varun, who was already lodged in the district jail. The NSA was invoked on the grounds of public administration and peace being disturbed by Gandhi, said Additional Cabinet Secretary Vijay Shanker Pandey to media in Lucknow at that time.

Pandey said the basis for slapping NSA were "Charges of inciting communal passion by making provocative and inflammatory speeches during meetings held on March 7 at Dalganj and on March 8 at Barkhera area of Pilibhit district have been confirmed."

The NSA action had come on a day when Gandhi was slapped with fresh charges by the Pilibhit police including attempt to murder, a non-bailable offence, in connection with the Saturday''s violence (in March) involving his supporters around the Pilibhit district jail, following his arrest.

The maximum period of detention under the NSA is one year with no provision for bail. The government invokes the NSA on the basis of the district magistrate''s report, after which the accused is kept in preventive detention.

During the three-week period, the accused is provided with the grounds for invoking the NSA and he can challenge the detention before a three-member advisory board headed by a high court judge.

If the board holds that the grounds for detention are justified, then the applicant can only challenge it in Supreme Court.

Pandey stated that on March 18, deviating from the programme he (Varun) had sent to the superintendent of police, he changed his route and timing in a planned manner, thus affecting general administration adversely.

The additional cabinet secretary said that the government had issued an order to ensure strict enforcement of the model code of conduct. (ANI)

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