New Delhi, August 18
The Supreme Court on Friday said that hate speeches will be dealt with according to law and treated alike irrespective of which side they belong to.
A bench of justices Sanjiv Khanna and SVN Bhatti’s remark came when it was informed of an incident of hate speech during a rally conducted by the Indian Union Muslim League in Kerala.
A lawyer apprised the court that in a rally conducted by Indian Union Muslim League, a slogan like “death to Hindus” was raised. Making it clear, the court said that whether it be one side or the other side, they have to be treated alike.
The court clarified that any kind of hate speech will be dealt with as per the law.
The court, which was hearing an application against calls made by several groups for a boycott of Muslims after the Nuh incident, adjourned the matter for August 25.
The court said that it hoped the guidelines of Tehseen Poonawalla have been complied with.
Following a number of occurrences, including calls for a Muslims boycott and the closing of mosques in Gurugram, an application was moved in SC seeking to initiate appropriate action against the speakers who instigated communal disharmony.
According to the application, after the Nuh violence, more than 27 rallies have been organized across various states where blatant hate speeches calling for the killing and social and economic boycott of Muslims have been openly delivered.
The application mentioned various rallies that have taken place between August 1 to August 7.
The petition made reference to a number of transcripts and videos. It also claims that residents and store owners received warnings that their businesses would be boycotted if they continued to hire or keep any Muslim person after two days.
The rallies were organised in various places in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
The application submitted that “Such rallies that demonize communities and openly call for violence and killing of people are not limited in terms of their impact to just those areas that are presently dealing with communal tensions but will inevitably lead to communal disharmony and violence of an unfathomable scale across the country.”
It further submitted that considering the extremely precarious situation currently prevailing in the aforementioned areas a very legitimate apprehension of communal persecution has arisen that requires the urgent attention of the top court.
The application sought to issue direction to the Commissioner of Police, Delhi, the Director General of Police, Uttarakhand, the Director General of Police, Uttar Pradesh, the Director General of Police, Haryana and such other authorities to take adequate action so as to ensure that the rallies in the nature of rallies where hate speeches are delivered are not allowed.
The plea sought to issue directly if the authorities concerned fail to stop the aforementioned protests, then they should explain what actions the Respondents and other authorities took.
The application also requested to take prompt, appropriate action against Police officials who attended these demonstrations and disregarded measures to prevent the delivery of hate speech there.