Mumbai: SC asks for ‘no hate speech’ guarantee if Hindu Jan Aakrosh rally is permitted

A bench of Justices KM Joseph and JB Pardiwala directed that if the event is going to be held it would be subjected to the condition that nobody will make any hate speech and act in defiance of the law or disturb the public order.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday directed the Maharashtra government to ensure that there are no hate speeches if the Hindu Jan Aakrosh rally is permitted in Mumbai on February 5.

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A bench of Justices KM Joseph and JB Pardiwala directed that if the event is going to be held it would be subjected to the condition that nobody will make any hate speech and act in defiance of the law or disturb the public order.

In case the event takes place, it will be video recorded by the police and its contents should be made available to the court, the bench said.

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“Record submissions of Solicitor General that if permission is applied for holding the apprehended meeting on February 5, it will be considered and if permission is granted, it will be subject to the condition that nobody will make any hate speech or act in defiance of law and in violation of public order,” the bench said in its order.

During the hearing, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Maharashtra government, gave the undertaking that action will be taken against hate speeches.

However, the Solicitor General also questioned the demand to stop the event, saying that it would amount to “pre-censorship”.

“See what happened in Uttarakhand and then State took action. If there is a replica of what happened then we cannot allow this,” Justice Joseph said.

“We may be reluctant to grant a relief that this procession is not held but it should be ensured that during this rally no rash statements are made and steps are taken and vigil is kept,” the bench added.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the petitioner, contended that during a meeting held on July 29, grave statements were made by the participants, including an MP of the ruling party and these factors should be considered before deciding to allow the next meeting.

The apex court was hearing a plea on the matter alleging that many events and rallies are organised across Maharashtra for the social and economic boycott of Muslims.

The plea had sought the court’s intervention to direct the State authorities to take action and not to allow a rally scheduled for February 5 in Mumbai, alleging that the platform would be used to spread hatred among communities.

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