Muzaffarnagar court returns chargesheet filed against BJP chief Amit Shah in a hate speech case

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In an embarrassment for the Uttar Pradesh government, the Lucknow SJM court has returned the chargesheet filed against Bharatiya Janata party chief Amit Shah on technical grounds in an alleged hate speech case. Shah was chargesheeted on Wednesday for making an alleged hate speech in Muzaffarnagar during campaigning for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

Shah had landed in a major controversy for allegedly saying that the 2014 Lok Sabha polls were an opportunity to seek “revenge for the insult” inflicted during the 2013 riots in Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh.

“If you want to take revenge you should vote for the BJP. You can no longer resolve a matter with swords and arrows. Today you can take revenge by voting for the BJP.”

The chargesheet was filed against 49-year-old Shah in a Muzaffarnagar court in Uttar Pradesh for allegedly seeking votes on the grounds of religion, race, caste and community.

The Deputy SP of New Mandi Circle in Muzaffarnagar, Yogender Singh, said the chargesheet was filed under various sections of IPC, including 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth etc), 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class) and 505 (false statement, rumour, etc circulated with intent to cause mutiny or offence against the public peace), and Section 123-3 of Representation of People Act (making an appeal to vote on the grounds of religion amounting to corrupt practice).

Police had registered a case against Shah for allegedly violating the model code following a direction from the Election Commission, which had also banned him from campaigning in Uttar Pradesh on April 4, 2014. The FIR was lodged against Shah in the New Mandi police station by a district official and the case was handed over to Sub-Inspector BL Shah for investigation.

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