Marvelous Step by The Apex Court On Hate Speech

A Rise Of New India

Apex Court granted time to petitioner to give affidavit on certain hate speech incidents

The Apex Court on Monday observed that a plea on hate speeches against minorities in the country perhaps may be right in saying the entire atmosphere is getting sullied due to this type of public discourse and needs to be curbed.

In a separate case, the Top court also sought responses from the Uttarakhand and Delhi governments on what action police have taken against those who made hate speeches at Dharam Sansads held in the state and the national capital last year.

The court’s observation and the direction came on a day when the Delhi police said it has filed an FIR against the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) and other organizers of an event in Delhi, where certain speakers allegedly delivered hate speeches.

The Apex Court bench Comprising of Chief Justice U U Lalit and Justice S R Bhat asked petitioner H Mansukhani to give details of particular instances of hate speeches including about the steps undertaken during the course of the investigation.

“This kind of a petition, though as a citizen, perhaps you may be right in saying that the entire atmosphere is getting sullied as a result of these hate speeches and perhaps you have every justifiable ground to say that this needs to be curbed.

The Apex Court bench, however, said for a court to take cognizance of a matter, there must be a factual background, and observed that the petitioner may concentrate on one or two instances.

Time has been granted to the petitioner to submit an additional affidavit concentrating on certain incidents and giving details of the crime in question, including about the steps undertaken during the course of the investigation.

The petitioner may also give details as to whether the crimes were registered and who are supposed to be the culprits, said the affidavit be filed by October 31 and posted the matter on November 1.

During the hearing, the petitioner raised the issue of hate crime and hate speeches to target minority communities.

She also alleged that hate speeches are a “profitable business” these days.

The petitioner, who referred to the Bollywood film, “The Kashmir Files”, submitted that a hate speech is like an arrow that never turns back.The bench observed that these are matters where the normal proceedings in a crime-related issue must be undertaken.

In other case, a bench comprising of justices DY Chandrachud and Hima Kohli passed the order seeking responses from the Uttarakhand and Delhi governments while hearing a plea of activist Tushar Gandhi.

The activist has sought contempt action against senior police officials in his petition for allegedly not taking any steps as per the guidelines laid down to curb hate speeches and lynching.

The bench said that at this stage it is not issuing notice on the contempt plea but is only seeking responses from Uttarakhand and Delhi as to what action has been taken with regard to the hate speeches made at the Dharam Sansads.

Both Uttarakhand and Delhi will file affidavits and explain the factual position and action taken.

The bench sought responses from the Uttarakhand and Delhi governments in four weeks.

The petitioner submitted that immediately after the events took place, the speeches were made available and in public domain but alleged that the Uttarakhand Police and the Delhi Police still did not act against the perpetrators.

Hate speeches were made in a Dharam Sansad held in Uttarakhand’s Haridwar from December 17 to 19 last year and in Delhi on December 19 last year, the petition alleged.