Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
Top Stories

Supreme Court Directs Uttarakhand Govt To Prevent Hate Speeches At Roorkee Dharam Sansad

Mehal Jain
26 April 2022 6:43 AM GMT
Supreme Court Directs Uttarakhand Govt To Prevent Hate Speeches At Roorkee Dharam Sansad
x

The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Uttarakhand Government to take measures to prevent hate speeches in Dharam Sansad which has been planned at Roorkee tomorrow."You will have to take immediate action. Don't make us say something. There are other ways of preventive action. You know how to do it!", Justice Khanwilkar told the Deputy Advocate General of the State of Uttarakhand Jatinder...

The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Uttarakhand Government to take measures to prevent hate speeches in Dharam Sansad which has been planned at Roorkee tomorrow.

"You will have to take immediate action. Don't make us say something. There are other ways of preventive action. You know how to do it!", Justice Khanwilkar told the Deputy Advocate General of the State of Uttarakhand Jatinder Kumar Sethi.

A bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar, Abhay Sreeniwas Oka and CT Ravikumar was hearing an application filed by journalist Qurban Ali and Senior Advocate Anjana Prakash (former judge of Patna HC) seeking criminal action against alleged hate speeches made during Dharam Sansad meets.

Reminding the counsel of the Uttarakhand Government about the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court in the Tehseen Poonawalla case regarding preventive measures, the bench warned that it will hold the Chief Secretary, Home Secretary and other concerned officials if hate speech instances occur in the Dharam Sansad event.

"What we see is something different on ground. Despite the repeated pronouncement of this court, there is the Poonawala judgment and subsequent judgment enlarging the precautionary measures to be taken and corrective measures to be taken, yet things are happening", Justice Khanwilkar said.

Read the full Courtroom Exchange Here

"Your Original petition was for Delhi and Uttarakhand. And now this IA is for HP?", Justice Khanwilkar asked Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, who has moved a fresh application with respect to the Dharam Sansad event held in Himachal Pradesh a week ago.

Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal: "They Are holding dharm sansad at every other place from time to time. This was held in Una, Himachal Pradesh. This is very shocking. I will not even read it publicly"

Mr. Sibal: "We had originally filed this IA to stop the Dharma Sansad. The Court said you report the matter to the collector and the SP. The Collector and the SP have done nothing and this is what has happened"

Justice Khanwilkar: "Today, what are you asking for?"

Mr. Sibal: "The gentleman who is speaking in the Dharam Sansad. Please read the transcript of his speech, I will not read it…"

Justice Khanwilkar: "We have read it. In those earlier decisions of this Court, Tehseen Poonawalla and the other one, which have considered preventive action. Those guidelines are already there"

Mr. Sibal: "The SP and the Collector do nothing"

Justice Khanwilkar to the counsel for the State of HP: "You have to follow the guidelines already in place. Are you following them or not, you have to answer? If not, then you have to take corrective measures"

Counsel for Himachal Pradesh: "We have taken preventive measures. Then we have undertaken investigation"

Justice Khanwilkar: "You have to stop activity, and not just do investigation. File an affidavit disclosing what steps you have taken to prevent it and thereafter"

Counsel for Himachal Pradesh: "We have issued notice under the Section 64 of Himachal Pradesh Police act to ensure there is no such issue. Subsequent to this, a representation was received and we took action…"

Justice Khanwilkar: "These incidents don't happen suddenly. They are announced well in advance. The local police has to get into action immediately. You file an affidavit explaining those steps. Did you spring into action immediately or not?"

Mr. Sibal: "We know they haven't arrested them…"

Justice Khanwilkar: "Let him explain that on affidavit"

Mr. Sibal: "Now as regards the other IA, another Dharam Sansad is to be held in Roorkee in Uttarakhand"

Justice Khanwilkar: "If that announcement has been made, they have to take action. The counsel for Uttarakhand was appearing earlier"

Dy AG of Uttarakhand: "Your lordships passed an order earlier taking into account our status report noting that we have already taken action"

Justice Khanwilkar: "He (Mr. Sibal) is informing you, perhaps it is not known to you, that next there will be another function of the same type. Don't explain it to us, you have to act as per the guidelines already in place"

Dy AG of Uttarakhand: "Our past contact has been that as and when the situation arises, we register an FIR irrespective of which community the person is from…"

Bench: "We are on preventive measures"

Dy AG of Uttarakhand: "We lodged FIRs against community 'A' and community 'B'. Chargesheets have been filed…"

Justice Khanwilkar: "FIRs are only after incident, not before the incident"

Dy AG of Uttarakhand : "As Regards preventive measures, there is a difficulty. A person says he will hold Dharam Sansad, we don't know the text of what he will be saying…"

Justice Khanwilkar: "If the speaker is going to be the same, you will have to take immediate action. Don't make us say something. There are other ways of preventive action. You know how to do it!"

Dy AG of Uttarakhand: "We are also trying to persuade them to not hold these events. That is a different channel on which we are operating that if they don't hold, it is better. We are aware of our responsibility, we are taking it to the extent it is possible. My friend may have some trust on us. The incident that he is indicating may not even occur because of the steps that we are taking. Have faith in us and let us see whatever happens tomorrow or day after. He filed an application late last night. It Not even on board. I took instructions late last night…"

Justice Khanwilkar: "We should record your statement, and we should hold responsible the one who is giving instructions to you. What level you are getting instructions? You talk to the Secretary, you talk to the IG of the concerned area and then make that statement!Understand that you are making that statement and then that person will say what should I do"

Dy AG of Uttarakhand: "Let him have some faith on us based on our past conduct"

Justice Khanwilkar: "There is no question of trust. Doctrine of trust applies all across and 24/7. But what we see is something different on ground. Despite the repeated pronouncement of this court, there is the Poonawala judgment and subsequent judgment enlarging the precautionary measures to be taken and corrective measures to be taken, yet things are happening"

Dy AG of Uttarakhand: "There is a colour which is being addressed to a particular community"

Mr. Sibal: "What are you talking?!"

AG of Uttarakhand: "The particular community that you are trying to protect is also doing this. We are trying to calm things down so that harmony is maintained"

Justice Khanwilkar: "This is not the way you address such matters"

Dy AG of Uttarakhand: "we are taking the steps and we will take all the steps to stop these things from happening. Regarding this Dharma Sansad also, we are taking steps to ensure that this is not held and if it is held, we will monitor it"

Justice Khanwilkar: "We will hold the Chief Secretary, Home Secretary, IG concerned responsible if any untoward situation happens despite your assurance! We are putting it on record. We are so confident about your instructions that it will not happen and you will prevent the situation!…You know what are the preventive measures to be taken. Don't make us say again and again!"

Dy AG of Uttarakhand: "We will do it. We will bring it on record"

Justice Khanwilkar: "We direct you to do it. We don't want your assurance. This is not the way you handle matters like this. If it happens, we will ask the chief secretary to be present"

Dy AG of Uttarakhand: "We will take whatever steps we can take. We will bow down to your lordships' order"

Justice Khanwilkar: "You are not doing any favour to anyone. You are bound to abide by our directions. We direct you to take all the preventive steps!"

After this, the bench passed the following order :

"This application pertains to the event which has already taken place on 17th to 19 April 2022 in Una, state of Himachal Pradesh. Counsel for the state of Himachal Pradesh on instructions submits that necessary preventive measures were already taken and after the event, corrective steps as required in terms of the decisions of this court in Tehseen Poonawalla (2018) and a subsequent case have also been taken up by the concerned authorities. He prays for some time to place the same on record by way of affidavit. We direct that the affidavit of Secretary, home department be filed in that regard on or before me 7 of May 2022. List this application on May 9, 2022 along with connected cases.

During the course of hearing of this application, Mr Sibal pointed out that he has received instructions to state that an event has been planned at Roorkee of the same type for tomorrow and an application is being filed in the registry in the course of the day in that regard. Counsel for the State of Uttarakhand submits that all preventive measures have been taken as exposited in the decisions referred to above and the concerned authorities are more than confident that no untoward situation or unacceptable statements are made during such event and whatever is necessary in terms of the decisions of this court, all such steps will be taken by the concerned authorities. We direct the Secretary, Home Department, of the State of Uttarakhand to place the above position on record and to also to state about the corrective measures by the concerned authorities as and when required before the next date of hearing".

Click here to read/download the order

Next Story