Court rejects plea seeking FIR against Rahul Gandhi’s Cambridge University speech
The Varanasi court held that the Congress MP’s statements did not violate the right to freedom of speech and expression.
A Varanasi court on Thursday dismissed a plea seeking a first information report against Congress MP Rahul Gandhi for his speech at the Cambridge University last month, reported Live Law.
In his lecture at the British university, Gandhi had said democracy was under attack in India. He said that several politicians, including himself, were under surveillance using Israeli-made Pegasus spyware.
Gandhi’s claims pertain to an investigation by a group of 17 media organisations and Amnesty International in 2021 that had shown that Pegasus spyware was being used to spy on journalists, activists, and politicians across the world, including in India.
The plea seeking FIR against Gandhi was moved by Bharatiya Janata Party leader Shashank Shekhar Tripathi who alleged that the Congress leader’s statements were divisive and against the spirit of the Constitution of India, reported the Live Law. The plea also alleged that Gandhi’s statements were part of a conspiracy to divide Indians on the basis of caste and religion, and that his statements amounted to hate speech.
However, the court observed that Gandhi’s statements do not exceed the limits defined under the right to freedom of speech and expression.