Harsh Mander’s Speech Instigated Violence:Delhi Police in SC

New Delhi: The Delhi Police, through the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) [legal cell], on Wednesday filed an affidavit seeking the dismissal of activist Harsh Mander’s petition with exemplary costs and initiation of contempt proceedings against him.

Mander, whose plea seeking registration of FIRs against BJP leaders Anurag Thakur, Kapil Mishra and Parvesh Verma for making speeches which allegedly instigated violence leading to the Delhi riots, faced counter allegations of making statements against the Apex Court.

A video to this effect was brought to the attention of the Supreme Court bench comprising of CJI SA Bobde, BR Gavai J. and Surya Kant J. when the main matter was taken up. The bench then declined to hear his petition and observed that an explanation was warranted. They went on to ask the Delhi Police to file an affidavit authenticating the statement of Mander. Complying with this direction, the police has filed this affidavit.

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His speech is not only instigating violence, but is seriously contemptuous as derogatory remarks have been made against the Supreme Court to a huge gathering of people, alleges the Police. The video, from December 16, 2019, has been annexed for the court’s perusal.

“Harsh Mander delivering a speech which is not only instigating the violence but is also seriously contemptuous as it makes derogatory remarks against the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India to a huge gathering of people.”

The affidavit goes on to accuse Mander of being known to take a contemptuous stand and bring disrepute to the institution (judiciary) as well as individual judges. To substantiate this argument, the police has placed reliance on the top court’s order in a case where Mander had sought then CJI Ranjan Gogoi’s recusal from hearing his petition on the state of detention centres in Assam on allegations of bias. In his order, dated May 2, 2019, CJI Gogoi not only refused to recuse himself, but struck off Mander’s name as the petitioner and replaced it with that of the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee. This point had also been raised by the Solicitor General during proceedings, while urging the Court to direct the filing of an FIR against Mander today.

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