21 July 2023 7:38 AM GMT
The Delhi High Court on Friday set aside a trial court order directing Delhi Police to register an FIR against Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Alok Kumar, on a complaint filed by activist Harsh Mander, for allegedly giving a hate speech during a VHP rally in 2019. While pronouncing the order, Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma observed that Mander had not leveled any allegation against Kumar in...
The Delhi High Court on Friday set aside a trial court order directing Delhi Police to register an FIR against Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Alok Kumar, on a complaint filed by activist Harsh Mander, for allegedly giving a hate speech during a VHP rally in 2019.
While pronouncing the order, Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma observed that Mander had not leveled any allegation against Kumar in the complaint which he had lodged with the police.
“The single line averred by respondent no. 1 (Mander) against the petitioner (Kumar) in his complaint filed before the magistrate on the face of it does not constitute any offence, or make out any case against the petitioner,” the court said.
It added: “Even if the allegations made in the complaint are determined to be true, even then, no offence was disclosed to have been committed by the petitioner (Kumar).”
The court further said that the records of the case reveal that it is a case which is not a case for insufficient evidence but of no incriminating material against Kumar at all.
“They will primarily relate to a hate speech which was allegedly delivered by someone else on which the present Petitioner (Kumar) did not have any control,” the judge added.
Justice Sharma further said that the magistrates play a crucial role in the criminal justice system as they are first in the line of adjudicatory process of journey for a criminal case and that they have to decide the cases keeping in mind that the powers given to them may be unlimited, but they are not unfettered powers.
“Though there is no place for hatred or criminal disharmony in a civilized society, in a country like India ... all communities have respected each other and have lived a harmonious life. While passing such cases the magistrates even if they disagree with the detailed action report filed on record, the court while focusing on non discrimination, it has to take into consideration that communal peace cannot be taken lightly and tolerance of cultural and religious values between different communities has to be kept in mind,” the court said.
It noted that in the present case, the police had found that there was no material against Kumar of having either delivered a speech or to have ignited any communal disharmony.
“This court therefore, cautions that while passing such orders, the judges have to be careful that in case there is no disharmony due to any speech, which was allegedly delivered, and not a past as the present one, could have rather ignited the communal disharmony. With these observations and some other observations, your petition has been allowed,” the court said, while addressing the petition.
Kumar had approached the court in 2020 seeking quashing of the trial court order passed on February 08, 2020. Justice Yogesh Khanna on March 20, 2020, had stayed the trial court order.
Vide the impugned order, the trial court directed registration of FIR against Kumar for allegedly inciting violence against members of the Muslim community in relation to vandalisation of a temple that took place in Old Delhi’s Lal Kuan in July 2019.
Apart from Kumar, the trial court also ordered registration of FIR against and one Swamiji from Kashi.
Senior Advocates Mohit Mathur and Abhishek Attrey along with Advocates Manisha Agarwal, Varun Maheshwari, Amit Kumar Singh, Manan Soni, Rahul Madan, Deepak Mittal, Rabi Kumar, Divyansh Vajpayee, Rakshita Goyal, Sandeep Singh, Ajay Saini, Sumit Mishra, Nirmala Singh and Harsh Gautam appeared for Kumar.
Advocate Daniyal Khan appeared for Mander. APP Satish Kumar represented Delhi Police.
Title: ALOK KUMAR v. HARSH MANDER & ANR.
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Del) 615