Varun Gandhi, BJP’s Pilibhit candidate, was granted bail in the hate speech and another case, on Monday, but remained in jail as he has also been booked under the stringent National Security Act (NSA).
Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Bipin Kumar granted bail to Varun in two cases — vitiating atmosphere by giving provocative speeches, and violation of People Representation Act and prohibitory order.
The CJM asked Varun to file two sureties of Rs 20,000 each and a personal bond of the same amount. But the BJP leader didn’t do so as he couldn’t have walked free in wake of his detention under the NSA. The court also sent Varun in judicial custody till April 13.
Talking to HT, Varun’s lawyer Samarjeet, who uses only one name, said, “He would continue to be lodged in the district jail.” The BJP leader would move the Allahabad High Court against the invoking of NSA against him, PTI quoted another of his lawyers, Ajay Kumar Saxena, as saying.
Though Varun did not appear in the court in person, it was a day of high drama. Security was tight and a large number of policemen were deployed at all sensitive points in the city to check the entry of Varun’s supporters. They had gone on rampage and had fought pitched battles with the police when Varun was arrested on Saturday.
When the bail plea came up for hearing at around 1 p.m., it wasn’t clear if Varun would appear in person.
Senior prosecution officer RP Srivastava said an application was moved by the district administration, saying it wasn’t in a position to produce Varun in the court as it didn’t have enough force to control the crowd.
But Varun’s lawyers insisted that he be produced in the court. According to sources, the judge rejected a suggestion of the administration to hold the court within the jail premises.
Upset over the restrictions over the entry of Varun, lawyers took out a protest march and registered protest with the judge. On judge’s orders, the court’s gate was opened for the plaintiff, but Varun didn’t turn up.
The bail order was passed in his absence.