The Karnataka High Court on Friday said that the police need not summon Bharatiya Janata Party chief JP Nadda and publicity wing head Amit Malviya for investigation in connection with its “objectionable” campaign video targeting Muslims, Bar and Bench reported.

Justice Krishna S Dixit said that the case investigation can continue but without insisting on the personal presence of Nadda or Malviya. The Karnataka Police had issued summons to Nadda and Malviya on May 8 to appear before it within seven days.

On May 5, a first information report was filed against the two and the party’s state unit chief BY Vijayendra after the Congress lodged a complaint against an animated video that was uploaded to the BJP’s Karnataka social media handles on May 4.

The video showed Congress leader Rahul Gandhi feeding “funds” to a bird, shown wearing a skullcap, as it hatches out of the “Muslim” egg. The video shows the “Muslim” bird pushing away the fledglings that hatch from the other three eggs, followed by the sound of laughter.

The Congress’ complaint said that the account to which the video was uploaded is operated by Malviya and that the video was shared on the instructions of Nadda and Vijayendra.

The three BJP leaders have been booked under sections of the Representation of People Act for making statements promoting enmity on religious grounds, under provisions of the Indian Penal Code.

The video was uploaded to the Hindutva party’s social media handles on May 4, three days before the second and final round of polling in Karnataka.

On May 7, the Election Commission had told social media platform X to take down the video on grounds that it violated the “extant legal framework”.

However, the poll regulator’s notice to X came after campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections in the state had ended, and during the second phase of polling in the state. While voting for 14 seats in Karnataka took place on April 26, the remaining 14 seats went to the polls on May 7.