The Supreme Court sought responses from the Centre, the Delhi Police commissioner and the Uttarakhand DGP on a PIL demanding action against those who delivered hate speech, allegedly calling for armed action against a minority community, at congregations in Haridwar and Delhi last month.
Petitioner Qurban Ali’s counsel Kapil Sibal said the inaction of police would encourage participants in scheduled meetings of Dharam Sansad during the electioneering period in Uttar Pradesh to indulge in similar speeches and requested a bench of CJI N V Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli to direct the police authorities concerned to take preventive measures.
The bench in its order said, “Sibal submitted that some more events are being planned, in which there may be a possibility of certain inflammatory speeches. If that is so, the petitioners are at liberty to make a representation to, or bring it to the notice of, the local authorities concerned. ”
When the CJI pointed out that multiple petitions raising the issue of hate speech is pending before the SC and suggested a consolidated hearing of all petitions, both Sibal and senior advocate Indira Jaising, appearing for Tushar Gandhi, vociferously opposed, saying the present petition is about calls for annihilation of the Muslim community presenting a unique problem that threatens to rip the secular fabric of the country. The bench posted the matter for hearing after10 days.