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Hate speech: Centre opposes Swamy’s plea in SC

subramanianswamy

The Centre today termed as “not maintainable” and opposed in the Supreme Court the plea of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy challenging constitutional validity of certain IPC provisions on hate speech and writing.

Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, appearing for the Centre, told the bench comprising justices Anil R Dave and Adarsh Kumar Goel that the plea is not a “writ petition but a personal interest litigation” as NBW has been already been issued against him with regard to alleged hate speeches.

“He is aggrieved because a non-bailable warrant (NBW) has been issued against him by a court with regard to his hate speeches. He is being personaly prosecuted for an offence and, hence his plea is infact a personal interest litigation,” he said, noting that the plea was not maintainable.

The bench then asked Swamy whether converting the warrant from non-bailable to bailable one would suffice his cause or not.

Swamy vehmently opposed the contention of the Solicitor General and said that his plea has already been considered by the previous bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi which has agreed to examine the constitutional validity of 156(3) of IPC and he is not on the issue of bailable warrant.

“The previous bench of the Supreme Court had in its last order asked all the parties to file their affidavits with regard to the matter and it has agreed to examine the provision of IPC constitutionally,” he said.

He argued that his plea for quashing of NBW was already before the Gauhati High Court.

The Solicitor General intervened and contended that Swamy can also raise the same issue of constitutional validity before the high court which is seized of his NBW issue.

To this, the bench asked Swamy whether he has challenged the provisions before the high court or not and asked, “Why can’t you raise the issue there.”

“How many high courts should I go to. Across the country, FIRs are being lodged against me by several state governments. This is a question of my fundamental right. This court is an approrpiate forum to examine the validity of the provisions of the IPC,” Swamy said, adding that he has not challenged the validity before the high court.

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