BJP leader Varun Gandhi, who was acquitted of all charges of making hate speeches before the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, “brazenly subverted the entire judicial process to get his name cleared,” according to an expose by news magazine Tehelka.
The magazine on Wednesday said its “investigation proves that not only did Varun make the venomous speeches he is accused of, he has compounded the original wrong by brazenly subverting the entire judicial process to get his name cleared.”
Mr. Gandhi, who was recently appointed national general secretary by the new BJP president Rajnath Singh, was accused of making hate speeches while campaigning for his first election to the Lok Sabhha from Pilibhit.
The magazine said: “He has also indulged in anti-party activities, deliberately making his own party candidate lose an Assembly election in Uttar Pradesh in 2012 so that a Samajwadi Party leader sympathetic to him could win and help him fix the cases against him.” Eighty-eight witnesses who turned hostile during the trial were caught on hidden cameras in the sting operation. They admitted that “they were coerced or bribed into changing their testimonies. They speak of how Pilibhit Superintendent of Police Amit Verma and other police officers threatened witnesses.”
“In one instance, a witness claims he received a call directly from Varun’s office,” says the magazine.
“The witnesses,” Tehelka says, “also speak of how the judicial process was turned completely on its head; how their testimonies were taken in the absence of the judge; how their statements were crafted by the lawyers and their thumb impressions or signatures taken; of how they were not cross-examined, often not even summoned to present their testimonies.”
The investigation also found that “Public Prosecutor M.P. Verma and the court itself were suspiciously negligent in following due process in bringing the high-profile leader to justice.”