The Supreme Court noted Monday that a plea against hate speech against minorities in the country may be correct in saying that the entire atmosphere is tainted by this kind of public discourse and should be curbed.
In a separate case, the highest court also asked for comments from the governments of Uttarakhand and Delhi about the measures taken by the police against those who held hate speech in Dharam Sansads in the state and the national capital last year.
The court’s comment and designation came on a day when Delhi police said it had filed an FIR against the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) and other organizers of an event in Delhi where certain speakers reportedly delivered hate speech.
A bench of Chief Justice UU Lalit and Judge SR Bhat asked petitioner H Mansukhani to provide details of specific cases of hate speech, including steps taken in the course of the investigation.
“Petitions like this, although as a citizen you may be right in saying that the whole atmosphere is being polluted as a result of these hate speeches, and you may have every valid reason to say that this should be curbed,” he said. it observed.
However, the court said that for a court to hear a case, there must be a factual background, noting that the petitioner can focus on one or two cases.
“This is too arbitrary a petition, saying there are 58 instances where someone made a hate speech.” “We don’t even know the details of the specific crime, its status, its stage, who the people involved are, whether crimes have been recorded or not,” it added.
The court has given the petitioner time to submit an additional affidavit focusing on particular incidents and detailing the crime in question, including any steps taken in the course of the investigation. The petitioner can also provide details as to whether the crimes have been registered and who the culprits are.
It said the affidavit would be filed before October 31 and the case was posted on November 1.
During the hearing, the petitioner raised the issue of hate crimes and hate speeches targeting minority communities.
She also claimed that hate speech is a “profitable business” these days.
Referring to the Bollywood movie “The Kashmir Files”, the petitioner argued that a hate speech is like an arrow that never goes back.
The bank finds that these are cases where the normal procedure in a crime-related matter should be conducted.
In the second case, a court DY Chandrachud and Hima Kohli approved the order to get responses from the governments of Uttarakhand and Delhi while hearing a plea from activist Tushar Gandhi.
In his petition, the activist has called for contempt measures against senior police officials for allegedly failing to take steps under guidelines drawn up to curb hate speech and lynching.
The bank said it is not making any notification of the contempt plea at this stage, only asking for comments from Uttarakhand and Delhi on the measures taken regarding the hate speeches in the Dharam Sansads.
Both Uttarakhand and Delhi will submit affidavits explaining the factual position and the measures taken.
Lawyer Shadan Farasat who appeared before Gandhi said the activist was also one of the petitioners in the Tehseen S Poonawalla versus Union of India (2018) verdict, which laid down guidelines for curbing hate speech and lynching.
Farasat argued that after the petition was filed, two people who made the hate speeches were arrested, but seven others were not touched by the police.
The bank asked for responses from the governments of Uttarakhand and Delhi within four weeks.
The petitioner argued that the speeches were made public immediately after the events, but claimed that the Uttarakhand Police and Delhi Police had still not acted against the perpetrators.
Hate speeches were delivered at 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 claimed.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)