Haridwar hate speeches: SC to hear plea on Wednesday

Petition has demanded stern legal action against those who allegedly threatened to massacre Muslims

New Delhi: The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear on Wednesday a petition seeking a direction to ensure investigation and action against those who allegedly made hate speeches during two events held recently in Haridwar and the national capital.

The plea is scheduled to come up for hearing before a bench comprising Chief Justice N V Ramana and justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli.

The petition, filed by journalist Qurban Ali and former Patna High Court judge and senior advocate Anjana Prakash, has sought a direction for an “independent, credible and impartial investigation” by an SIT into the incidents of hate speeches against the Muslim community.

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On Monday, a bench headed by the CJI had taken note of the submissions of senior advocate Kapil Sibal that no action has been taken against those who made the hate speeches despite registration of FIR by Uttarakhand Police.

“I have moved this PIL in respect of what happened in Dharam Sansad in Haridwar on December 17 and 19 (last year). We are living in difficult times where slogan in country has changed from ‘Satyamev Jayate’ to ‘Shastramev Jayate’,” Sibal had said.

The FIR has been filed but no arrests have been made, the senior lawyer had said, adding that no action would be possible without the intervention of this court.

The bench had said that it would take up the matter for hearing.

The plea, which specifically referred to the “hate speeches” delivered between the “17th & 19th of December 2021 at Haridwar and Delhi”, has also sought compliance of apex court’s guidelines to deal with such speeches.

One event was organised in Haridwar by Yati Narsinghanand and the other in Delhi by ‘Hindu Yuva Vahini’ allegedly “calling for genocide of members” of a community, it said.

The Uttarakhand Police filed the FIR on December 23 under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code against some persons including Sant Dharamdas Maharaj, Sadhvi Annapoorna alias Pooja Shakun Pandey, Yati Narsinghanand and Sagar Sindhu Maharaj.

A similar complaint was filed with the Delhi Police for the second event organised in the national capital.

The plea said that no effective steps have been taken by Uttarakhand and Delhi police.

Till date no FIR has been lodged by the Delhi Police despite calls for ethnic cleansing at the event organised here, it said.

Besides this petition, another plea has also been filed in the apex court by the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind to ban anti-Muslim speeches and programmes like the ‘Dharma Sansad’.

The petition has demanded stern legal action against those who allegedly threatened to massacre Muslims and said it was not just a matter of religion but of the Constitution, law, unity and integrity of the country.

“Hate speeches and statements against Muslims have suddenly intensified in the country in recent times,” the plea said.

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