The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Uttar Pradesh (UP) government to respond to BJP leader Varun Gandhi’s petition challenging his detention under the National Security Act (NSA).
The bench headed by Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan issued notices to the Pilibhit district magistrate and the UP government after senior counsel Mukul Rohtagi mentioned Varun’s petition for urgent hearing.
The court has also issued notices following Varun’s plea for a stay on the district magistrate’s March 29 order for detention under NSA. Rohtagi argued that the move was politically motivated and aimed at sabotaging his client’s political career. “If he remains in jail for another 15-20 days, it will all be over,” Rohtagi said. He also questioned the legality of the detention order citing clauses under Section 3(3) of the NSA.
Senior counsel Harish Salve, countering Rohtagi’s arguments, said the UP government took all steps that are required before invoking NSA and the order was completely legal.
Describing the preventive detention order as “perverse and mala fide” in his habeas corpus petition, Varun alleged that it was an attempt to deprive him of his fundamental right to personal liberty and foil his political debut. Varun has also questioned the Election Commission’s advise to BJP to not field him.
The next hearing was fixed for April 13 after Rohtagi told the court that the last date for filing nominations was “April 16 or 17.”