A court in Uttar Pradesh’s Pilibhit on Tuesday exonerated Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Varun Gandhi from charges of delivering a hate speech in his constituency prior to the 2009 general elections. Gandhi was given relief in another similar case last week due to lack of evidence.
While the eyewitnesses could not validate the charges, even the journalists who reported the event could not furnish unedited and raw footage of the speech in which Gandhi was accused of threatening to chop off hands of a certain community.
Soon after the relief by the chief judicial magistrate’s court in Pilibhit, Gandhi told reporters that he was relieved that justice had finally been done though he admitted that the “process of getting justice had its own share of anxiety and was long”.
Thanking the court and the people who stood by him during the times of crisis, he said he would continue to fight
for a strong India in the days to come. “I am deeply grateful to those who have stood by and believed in me through this difficult time. I shall continue working for a strong and united India,” he stated.
The case against Gandhi was slapped by the then Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) government on March 8, 2009 for allegedly spreading hatred against a religion. Gandhi had to spend 20 days in jail before he was released on bail and later won his Lok Sabha election on a BJP ticket from Pilibhit.
A petition filed by Congress candidate VM Singh was earlier rejected by the Allahabad High Court.