Hate speech case: Charges framed against Varun Gandhi
New Delhi: BJP Member of Parliament (MP) from Pilibhit Varun Gandhi will face trial in Uttar Pradesh for alleged provocative speeches made by him in 2009 while campaigning in his constituency.
The BJP leader Friday appeared in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Abdul Qayum where police had filed chargesheet in the case lodged at Sadar Kotwali Police Station.
The court fixed December 10 and 11 as the next date of hearing.
Varun Gandhi, great-grandson of the country's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, won the Lok Sabha election from the Pilibhit seat.
The young BJP leader has been accused by then chief minister Mayawati and her government of promoting enmity between groups on the grounds of religion.
After the framing of charges against him, over a dozen witnesses will testify against him in the Pilibhit court.
Varun Gandhi had reportedly made inflammatory remarks against Muslims in Pilibhit in the run-up to the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.
Varun was booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the People's Representative Act for "promoting enmity" and acts "prejudicial to maintenance of harmony",
However, he strongly denied the charges.
Varun Gandhi also strongly denied that he made any communal or divisive statements and termed it a "vicious attempt" to malign him.
"I strongly refute the charge of making any communal or divisive statements as part of my election campaign. In this climate of terrorism, I have spoken only about standing firm against anti-national and anti-social forces that threaten this nation," Varun Gandhi said in a statement.
The BJP leader also claimed that in one instance he was referring to bad elements and in the second one, the tapes have been doctored.
With Agency Inputs