2 Aug 2023 8:53 AM GMT
The Supreme Court on Wednesday urged the authorities to ensure that no violence or hate speeches take place in the protest marches being held by Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal in various parts of Delhi-National Capital Region today in the wake of the communal violence in Nuh and Gurugram in Haryana.In a special sitting held at 2 PM to hear an urgent application filed to stop...
The Supreme Court on Wednesday urged the authorities to ensure that no violence or hate speeches take place in the protest marches being held by Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal in various parts of Delhi-National Capital Region today in the wake of the communal violence in Nuh and Gurugram in Haryana.
In a special sitting held at 2 PM to hear an urgent application filed to stop the VHP-Bajrang Dal rallies in Delhi-NCR, the Court asked the Delhi Police, and the Governments of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana to ensure that no untoward incident takes place in the rallies. The Court also directed the authorities to video record the rallies in sensitive areas and preserve the footages.
A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Justice SV Bhatti pointed out that the Supreme Court has already passed orders in October 2022 and April 2023 directing the police to register suo motu FIR against hate speech crimes. Therefore, the authorities are bound to ensure compliance with the order.
Senior Advocate Chander Singh, appearing for the petitioner, said that twenty three marches have been announced by VHP-Bajrang Dal in various parts of the National Capital Region to protest against the happenings in Nuh. To a query by the bench if any hate speeches have been made, Singh replied in the affirmative. He said that hate speeches were made in the rallies which have already been held in the Delhi-NCR today forenoon and more rallies are going to happen today in sensitive areas.
Addressing Additional Solicitor General of India SV Raju, Justice Khanna said : "There cannot be any quarrel on the proposition that hate speeches do vitiate the atmosphere. Mr.Raju, please ensure that the authorities must take adequate precautions to ensure that there is no violence and there are no hate speeches".
"Please get in touch with the authorities immediately to ensure that nothing untoward happens and at least there are no hate speeches or violence at all. And wherever you think are sensitive areas, take additional precautions in the form of additional police force. Also, deploy CCTV cameras to ensure everything is recorded", Justice Khanna told the ASG.
"We have to ensure that rule of law is maintained. This cannot be treated as an adversarial litigation. The law and order is basically a policing issue which must be taken care of",Justice Khanna stated.
When Singh said that a Mahapanchayat is scheduled to take place in Haryana today evening at 4 PM amidst communal tensions, Justice Khanna said, "Let it be, as long as there is no hate speech, no violence whether destruction of property or violence against individuals"
In the order, the bench stated as follows :
"We hope and trust that the State Governments, including the police authorities, will ensure that there are no hate speeches against any community and there is no violence or damage to properties. Wherever required, adequate police force or paramilitary forces will be deployed. Further, authorities including the police will take use of the CCTV cameras where installed or make video recordings in all sensitive areas wherever required. The CCTV footage and the videos will be preserved".
The bench directed the Registry to communicate the order to the Standing Counsels of the Governments of NCT of Delhi, Haryana and UP.
The application was urgently heard today at 2PM after the matter was mentioned before Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud. CJI passed orders for immediate listing of the application and the special bench was constituted at 2 PM.
Alleging that the provocative statements were made in the earlier rallies held by these organisations yesterday in Bhiwani and Najafgarh in Haryana, the application stated, "given the fact that the situation in Nuh and Gurgaon continues to be extremely tense and even the slightest provocation could result in serious loss of life and damage to property, rallies that are likely to fan communal fires and incite people to resort to violence, ought to not be permitted".
The plea was moved by Shaheen Abdullah as an interlocutory application in writ petition filed by him seeking directions to stop hate crimes. In February, the Supreme Court had passed directions in his petition to the State of Maharashtra to prevent hate speeches in 'Sakal Hindu Manj' rallies.
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