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Former Judges, Senior Lawyers write to CJI demanding suo motu action against Hate Speech

Apoorva Mandhani
5 March 2016 9:21 AM GMT
Former Judges, Senior Lawyers write to CJI demanding suo motu action against Hate Speech
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In an impassioned plea to the Judges of the Supreme Court of India, a faction of former Judges, jurists, scientists, police officers and businessmen have demanded that suo motu constitutional action be taken on the issue of the “alarming and threatening statements being made by persons currently in power constitutional positions within the union government.” The signatories include Justice P.B. Sawant, Justice B.G. Kolse Patil, and Senior Counsels Iqbal Chagla, Janak Dwarkadas and Nawroz H. Seervai, amongst several others. They demand that a Permanent and Sitting Commission be appointed to monitor and oversee all such meetings happening, in order to prevent a situation of “hate driven provocation and attacks on marginalized sections.”

The letter justifies the appeal for suo motu action by pointing out that it is in fact the ruling party at the Centre and its representatives at the Central and local level who are “stoking these dangerous sentiments that amount to nothing else than incitement to violence.” It lists down several instances of such statements being made, the aftereffect of which has been fear and insecurity among the citizens of India.

It refers to a news report titled “Muslims warned of ‘final battle”, where in the presence of a minister of state in the Central Government and a Member of Parliament (MP) of the ruling party, Muslims were equated to “demons” and “descendants of Ravana”, and were warned of a “final battle”. The speakers at this meeting had reportedly urged Hindus to “corner Muslims and destroy the demons (rakshas)”, while declaring that “all preparations” had been made to effect “badla (revenge)” before the 13th-day death rituals for Mahaur.

“Ultimately it becomes an act of the society. Once people are galvanized, no question would be raised at all. In cases like Ram Janmbhoomi, Muzaffarnagar, the party had disappeared. But it is certain that revenge will be taken before the terahvin (13th day) is over. Khoon ka badla khoon (Blood for blood). Action will obviously be in Mantola area (where Mahaur was killed), but also across Agra. Wherever Hindus are in majority, it will happen. We are fully prepared. If they retaliate, then it will be a mahasangram, Mahabharata. The final battle,” VHP District Secretary Ashok Lavania was quoted as saying.

These offenders, the letter says, need to be proceeded against under Sections 124A, 153A, 153B, 292, 293, 295A, 505 of the Indian Penal Code. They further urge that the culprits be punished for violating their constitutional duty under Article 51A (e) to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious diversities.

Read the full text here.

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