Bharatiya Janata Party national secretary and Pilibhit MP Varun Gandhi was on Tuesday acquitted in a hate speech case.

The verdict was delivered by Chief Judicial Magistrate of Pilibhit Abdul Qayyum. The case was filed in the Barkhera police station in Pilibhit district on March 8, 2009. Mr. Gandhi was acquitted for want of evidence.

On February 27, Mr. Gandhi was acquitted in another hate speech case too for want of evidence. This case was lodged in the Kotwali police station of Pilibhit on March 7, 2009.

The prosecution produced over 50 witnesses in both cases but all of them either turned hostile or failed to testify against him.

In both cases, filed during the run-up to the 2009 Lok Sabha election, Mr. Gandhi was charged with violating the election code of conduct and promoting enmity among people and supporting acts prejudicial to communal harmony by making inflammatory speeches.

Mr. Gandhi surrendered in the court on March 28, 2009. He was booked under the National Security Act on March 29, 2009 and sent to the Etah jail. He was released on bail on April 16, 2009. He went on to contest the Lok Sabha election from Pilbhit successfully.