New Delhi: Expressing its serious concern over the way, some of the hate speeches were made against the minority communities during recent religious congregations, the Supreme Court questioned as to where we have reached, what have we reduced religion to?
“Where have we reached? What have we reduced religion to? What have we reduced God to? It is tragic,” a two-judge bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Justice K M Joseph and also comprising Justice Hrishikesh Roy, observed.
“The statements are certainly very shocking for a country that is to be religion neutral,” the Supreme Court said, and expressed shock at some of the statements and hate speech made against minority communities during certain recent religious congregations.
The Apex Court was hearing a plea filed by the petitioner, Shaheen Abdullah, seeking urgent direction, interventions and or orders to stop the hate speeches made against the Muslim community.
“A country which is a democracy and religion neutral, you are saying it there should be action in IPC. But it’s against one community. It is sad,” the Supreme Court observed.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the petitioner, Abdullah, presented a recent “Hindu Sabha” as an example where BJP MP from West Delhi, Parvesh Verma, called for the “total boycott” of “these people” apparently referring to Muslims.
The Supreme Court said, in its order that “the respondent (authorities) will issue directions to their subordinates in this regard without looking at the religion of the accused, so that the secular nature of India is preserved.*
The Supreme Court also in its order directed that the respective governments and police authorities should take suo motu action in cases of hate speeches and they should not wait for lodging of a formal complaint.
“Such action is needed to be taken to preserve secular character of the country,” the Supreme Court observed and expressed its shock over the way the hate speeches are made.
Abdullah, the petitioner, said the Muslim community is being “targeted and terrorised” by the participation of the members of the ruling political party in delivering the hate speeches.
The Supreme Court in its order directed the Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand police to take Suo Motu cognizance action against any instance of hate speech in the State without waiting for a complaint to be filed.
The Supreme Court also made it clear that if there is a lack of action by the police and authorities, it will result in contempt of court against the concerned authority or person.
The Supreme Court also sought action taken report from Delhi police on alleged hate speeches made by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of Parliament, Parvesh Verma and others in Delhi on October 9 against Muslim community.
Sibal argued that we have filed many complaints. This Court or administration never takes action! Always status reports. These people are participating in events on daily basis.
“The Administration does nothing. We keep coming to Court,” Sibal pleaded for action.
While reading the alleged speeches of Varma, the Court read, “If need be, we will slit their throats”, (Bench reads). It said, it is very sad and tragic.
Sibal said, Yes, him and team. He is an MP of the party (BJP).
“We need an SIT (Special Investigation Team) to make sure that it doesn’t get repeated,” Sibal pleaded to the Supreme Court.