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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

SC agrees to take up PIL seeking probe into Delhi, Haridwar hate speeches

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal highlighted, "FIRs have been filed, no arrests have been done. This is in the State of Uttarakhand. Without the intervention of your lordships no action will be taken."

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: January 11, 2022 2:57:06 am
During the 17-19 December religious conclave, repeated calls were allegedly given by several speakers to wage a war against Muslims and reduce their population in India. (Photo: Twitter/Screenshot)

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to take up a PIL seeking probe into the alleged hate speech by participants at two separate events in Haridwar and Delhi on December 17 and 21, 2021.

“We will take up the matter,” Chief Justice of India NV Ramana told Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal who mentioned the plea filed by Delhi resident Qurban Ali and Senior Advocate Anjana Prakash.

Appearing for the petitioners, Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal said, “We are living in different times where slogan has changed from satyameva jayathe to shashrameva jayathe”.

The CJI then queried if an inquiry wasn’t already going on in the matter.

“We will look into it. But hasn’t some action already been taken?” the CJI asked.

Sibal replied that though FIRs have been filed, no one had been arrested so far.

“We will take up the matter,” said the CJI.

The petitioners said in their plea that they were constrained to approach the top court seeking its urgent intervention “in respect of the hate speeches that have been delivered between the 17th and 19th of December, 2021 in two events organized in Haridwar (by one Yati Narsinghanand), and in Delhi (by an organization self-styled as ‘Hindu Yuva Vahini’) (hereinafter collectively referred to as “the events”) with the apparent objective of declaring war against a significant section of the Indian Citizenry.”

It said “the aforementioned hate speeches consisted of open calls for genocide of Muslims in order to achieve ethnic cleansing. It is pertinent to note that the said speeches are not mere hate speeches but amount to an open call for murder of an entire community. The said speeches thus, pose a grave threat not just to the unity and integrity of our country but also endanger the lives of millions of Muslim citizens.”

They said that “no effective steps have been taken by the police” in the matter and added that though police have registered two FIRs against 10 people who took part in the Haridwar Dharam Sansad, only Sections 153A, 295A and 298 of the IPC have been made.

The plea said, “it is also relevant to note that no action whatsoever has been taken by the Delhi Police in relation with the event held in Delhi despite the fact that open calls for genocide, that are available on the internet, were made therein.”

It contended that the “recent speeches are a part of a series of similar speeches that we have come across in the past” and added that the “not only the inaction of the police allows delivery of hate speeches with impunity but also shows that the police authorities are in fact hand in glove with the perpetrators of communal hate.”

“That the contents of the speech feed into an already prevailing discourse which seeks to reimagine the Indian Republic as exclusivist, and that which has no space for other cultures, traditions and practices. Such a discourse is in itself violative of constitutional guarantees provided to minority cultures and religions in India,” it said adding that “the impact of such repeated speeches shows a rise in structural…and physical violence.”

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