Supreme Court says hate speeches could be sullying country’s atmosphere

Supreme Court on Tuesday said hate speeches are sullying the atmosphere in the country and need to be stopped, reported Bar and Bench.

A bench of Chief Justice UU Lalit and Justice S Ravindra Bhat made the statement while hearing a plea alleging that the government was not taking any action against hate speeches.

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The observation was made on a day when Delhi police said it had filed an FIR against Vishva Hindu Parishad and some others for organising an event in Delhi where hate speeches were made.

Chief Justice of India U U Lalit made these remarks while hearing the plea that hate speeches were being made against the minority community “to win the majority Hindu votes, to grab power at all posts, to commit genocide and make India a Hindu Rashtra before 2024 elections”.

The CJI, who was presiding over a two-judge bench that also comprisws Justice S Ravindra Bhat, however, said that the plea lacked specifics or detailed information and had only “vague” assertions. “We don’t even know what are the details of those particular crimes, what is the status, what is your say, who are the persons involved, whether any crime was registered, not registered, etc. You may be right, perhaps, in saying that the entire atmosphere is being sullied as a result of hate speeches. Perhaps you have every justifiable grounds to say that this needs to be curbed, but this kind of ominous petition under Article 32 cannot be,” CJI Lalit said and wondered if the petitioner Harpreet Mansukhani needed assistance of an amicus curiae.

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The petitioner told the Bench that “hate speech has been turned into a profitable business”. Mansukhani claimed she had proof that a political party had funded Hindi movie ‘The Kashmir Files’, depicting the forced exodus of Kashmiri Pandits that has been accused of fanning the anti-Muslim hatred.

At the outset, the Bench observed that in incidents of hate speech, normal proceedings under criminal law will have to be initiated on a case-to-case basis. “We have to see who is involved and who is not,” the CJI said.

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