Delhi HC Impleads Centre, Gives 4-weeks To Reply; Adjourns Hate Speech Case Till April 13

Law & Order

While hearing plea by Harsh Mander seeking registration of FIRs for hate speech against BJP leader, the Delhi HC impleaded MHA to be the "necessary party."

Written By Navashree Nandini | Mumbai | Updated On:
Delhi HC

While hearing the plea by Harsh Mander seeking registration of FIRs for hate speech against BJP leaders Anurag Thakur, Parvesh Verma and Kapil Mishra, the Delhi High Court has on Thursday impleaded Ministry of Home Affairs to be the "necessary party." It has also given four weeks to Union of India to file a counter affidavit in the matter. The plea has been adjourned till April 13. The order was dictated by a bench comprising of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar.

On Wednesday, while hearing the case, Justice S Muralidhar and Justice Talwant Singh had asked Special CP Praveen Ranjan to communicate the court’s anguish to the Police Commissioner regarding the non-registration of FIRs. It had noted Ranjan’s assurance that the Police Commissioner would take a conscious decision regarding the registration of FIR after looking at all the videos containing inflammatory speeches. At the same time, the court maintained that no one was above the law and asked the Commissioner to seriously consider the consequences of not registering an FIR.

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The arguments in the court 

As the hearing began on Thursday, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed the Court that the petitioner has been selective about the hate speeches. Reading Justice Muralidhar's verdict, he argued that the Union of India should be a party in the case, and that one individual can't decide whether Union should be added or not. Regarding the registration of FIR, SG Mehta said that they need more time to take appropriate action, as the situation is not "conducive". Delhi government counsel Rahul Mehra reiterated that registering of FIR is the first step towards investigation. Arguing against it, the SG said that the Delhi Police has already filed 48 FIRs in related to the violence.

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Appearing for Harsh Mander, Advocate Colin Gonsalves said that hate speeches have resulted in murder, and that the BJP leaders should be booked for murder, and not just for making hate speeches. He emphasized on the basis of Wednesday verdict of the Court that it has a duty to send out a message that no one will be spared for making hate speeches. Appearing for Lawyers Voice which has filed an application for action against Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi etc for alleged hate speech, Counsel Chetan Sharma said that verdict cannot be pronounced without their response.

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