‘His hate speeches shocked the conscience of nation'

The Supreme Court on Friday admitted an appeal against a ruling of the Allahabad High Court that dismissed a petition challenging the election of BJP Member of Parliament Feroze Varun Gandhi from Pilibhit.

The petition sought his disqualification for his alleged hate speeches against Muslims during the 2009 election. A Bench of Justices Altamas Kabir and S.S. Nijjar admitted V.M. Singh's appeal and, after hearing senior counsel M.N. Krishnamani, issued notice to Mr. Gandhi seeking his response.

The petitioner said the High Court dismissed the petition on the technical ground that the alleged speeches were made prior to the election notification and such speeches could not be taken cognisance under the Representation of the People Act.

He said the incendiary hate speeches of Mr. Gandhi had shocked the conscience of the nation as he had referred to the Muslim community in a derogatory manner and this he had repeated it.

He said such speeches were noted by the Election Commission and by the BJP itself, which blamed Mr. Gandhi for the overall result in the election as the speeches were broadcast till the date of nomination keeping them burning in the minds of the electorate. These speeches created a fear psychosis among Muslims, who turned out in small numbers to .