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Page last updated at 12:29 GMT, Thursday, 14 May 2009 13:29 UK

Varun Gandhi restrictions lifted

Varun Gandhi
Mr Gandhi denied making sppeches that insulted Muslims

The Supreme Court in the Indian capital, Delhi, has revoked stringent restrictions imposed upon the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Varun Gandhi.

Mr Gandhi, a grandson of former PM Indira Gandhi, was on bail after being detained under the National Security Act for inciting religious tension.

The restrictions meant he was banned from making "provocative speeches".

The government of the state of Uttar Pradesh says that it will appeal against the court's decision.

Mr Gandhi is standing as a parliamentary candidate for the BJP in India's general elections.

'Vindictiveness'

The court's decision has been welcomed by members of Mr Gandhi's family.

"Varun has always maintained he had full faith in the judiciary and that has been once again vindicated today," his aunt, Ambika Shukla, said.

"As you can imagine it has been a very difficult time... he spent 20 days in jail unfairly at a time when every other candidate was free to campaign.

"So it has been a difficult time especially aggravated by the timing of his detention and the circumstances and the vindictiveness of this campaign which has targeted him," she said.

Mr Gandhi was released from jail in Uttar Pradesh on 16 April after he gave a fresh undertaking to the Supreme Court that he would not make any inflammatory speeches.

His arrest was marked by violent protests by his supporters. Under the National Security Act, a person can be detained for up to one year without bail.

Mr Gandhi is the son of Sanjay Gandhi, Indira Gandhi's younger son who was killed in a plane crash.

Although he is a descendant of the influential Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, Mr Gandhi belongs to a side of the family that they have disowned.



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