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Hindutva seems to have got new vigour now. The Advisory Board constituted to examine Varun Gandhi’s hate speech and booking under the National Security Act has recommended the withdrawal of the said Act against Vaun Gandhi. (news item here)
The three member panel comprising two retired HC judges Justices S N Sahai and P K Sareen, was understood to have stated in no uncertain terms that the inflammatory speeches made by Varun were not enough to attract the deterrent provisions of the NSA and the action takes was disproportionate to the nature of the alleged crime committed by Varun Gandhi.
But what exactly is this Advisory Board? Who constitutes it ?
Under the National Security Act, Sections 9, 10 and 11 govern the formation of the Advisory Board. Once a person is booked under the NSA, the appropriate government forms the Advisory Board and transfers the case to it. The main function of the Board is to look into the alleged acts and opine if there was sufficient cause for the person to be detained and booked under the NSA. If the Advisory Board opines that there wasn’t any sufficient cause for the detention of such person, the Appropriate government must revoke the order of detention.
The National Security Act governs the arrest and detention of persons acting in any manner prejudicial to the defence of India, relations of India with foreign powers, or the security of India.In Kartar Singh v. State of Punjab, the phrase ‘defence of India’ was construed to mean not only external sovereignty but also internal sovereignty. This, added to the phrase ‘security of India’ might have seemed appropriate to book Varun Gandhi to say that his hate speech might have instigated a riot or harmed the security of the state. The hate speech of Varun can be viewed below,
Well, he might want to cut the hands of people from another religion, But surely Varun Gandhi has had the laugh now. The question remained as to whether this speech was sufficient to harm the security of the state or ‘defence of India’. The Advisory Board found otherwise and thus the booking against him under the Act has been revoked against him. He may however, still be booked under the Indian Penal Code for incitement to violence and religious hatred.
Readers might also want to read earlier news items and posts on this here;
Arun and I had the opportunity to have a one-on-one interview with Mr. JM Lyngdoh (Former Election Commissioner) after his lecture. Below is the transcript of the interview. The issues covered in this interview were;
- Private Funding of Elections
- Student Elections
- The 49-O debate
- Voting solutions and accommodations for the Middle Class
- Elections in Chattisgarh
The podcast of the interview may be downloaded here.
Arun : My first question is with regard to the issue of private funding that you raised. Sir you had drawn a comparison with the United States perspective where in there would be private funding in election campaigns. Can you think of any particular evil of introducing it in India ?
Mr. Lyngdoh : Let me make it quite clear. It is not private funding that is the greatest problem in the tracking of funding in India. The main source of funding in election campaigns is government funding and the stemming of it should be the main focus. This source of funding is highly objectionable; whether from a literal point of view or from a normal point of view.
Arun : Would you then perhaps encourage corporate entities or industrialists in funding and having their say in financing election campaigns ?
Mr. Lyngdoh : Believe me, the corporate sector is even more unreliable than the government when it comes to election campaigns. I don’t want them to be a part of it.