March 24, 2023

hate: Dharam Sansad hate speech case: Supreme Court to take up plea against hate speech | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday assured Congress leader and senior advocate Kapil Sibal that it would take up a public interest litigation petition demanding action against those who indulged in hate speech and gave calls for armed action against the minority community at congregations in Haridwar and Delhi last month.
Seeking urgent hearing of the PIL, filed by journalist Qurban Ali, Sibal told a bench of Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli that though police have registered two FIRs, no arrests have been made despite lapse of almost a month. “’Shasatrameva Jayate’ (armed action may triumph), appears to be replacing our national ethos ‘Satyameva Jayate’ (truth alone may triumph),” he said in angst. The CJI assured him of early listing of the PIL before an appropriate bench and said, “We will take up this matter.”
Ali said, “Hate speeches have been delivered between the 17th and 19th of December, in two events organised in Haridwar (by one Yati Narsinghanand), and in Delhi (by an organisation self-styled as ‘Hindu Yuva Vahini’) with the apparent objective of declaring war against a significant section of the Indian citizenry.”
Open calls for genocide of Muslims were made in those speeches for achieving ethnic cleansing, he said, adding, “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.”
Accusing police authorities of lackadaisical approach exemplified by non-slapping of Sections 120B, 121A and 153B of the Indian Penal Code, that squarely apply to the hate speeches, Ali said though FIRs named 10 people, those who made fiery genocide calls have been spared of Section 153A which deals with the offence of promoting disharmony, enmity or feelings of hatred between different groups on the grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language.
The petitioner cited a viral video in which one of the accused openly acknowledged a police officer’s allegiance with the organisers and speakers of the Dharam Sansad. “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,” he said.
The journalist-petitioner said, “The speeches overtly and explicitly described Indian Muslims as usurpers of territory, and as predators of land, livelihoods and of Hindu women, thus creating paranoia and a completely manufactured feeling of being under siege amongst ordinary Hindu citizens. The discourse argues that Indian Muslim and Hindu citizens have competing interests, and for the latter to prosper and achieve cultural self-realization, the nature of the Indian Republic must be altered to that of a Hindu alone state. In its moderate form, the discourse advocates an active social and economic boycott of Muslims, and in some cases physical annihilation.”
Uttarakhand Police had on January 3 filed an FIR under Sections 153A & 298 of the IPC against 9 people including Wasim Rizvi, Yati Narsinghanand, Sant Dharamdas Maharaj, Sadhvi Annapoorna alias Pooja Shakun Pandey, Sagar Sindhu Maharaj, Swami Anand Swaroop, Ashwani Upadhyay, Swami Prabodhanand Giri, Dharamdas Maharaj, Premanand Maharaj, he informed.

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