A hearing was held in the Supreme Court on Friday (28 April 2023) regarding hate speech. During this, the Supreme Court said that it has asked all the states and union territories to register FIRs against hate speech on their own and take action. The court said that it is necessary to maintain the secular character of India.
The Supreme Court ordered action against the wrongdoers regardless of religion. The Court said, “The Supreme Court makes it clear that immediate action must be taken to preserve the secular character of India as envisaged in the Preamble to the Constitution.”
Supreme Court directs all the States and Union Territories to ensure that as and when any hate speech is made, they shall take suo moto action for registration of FIR even without any complaints.
Supreme Court makes it clear that such action shall be taken irrespective of the… pic.twitter.com/yFOlG6QQnq
— ANI (@ANI) April 28, 2023
The Supreme Court bench comprising Justices KM Joseph and BV Nagaratna heard it. During the hearing, Justice KM Joseph said that hate speech is a serious crime affecting the fabric of the country. It directly affects the heart of the Republic of India and the dignity of the people.
Let us tell you that in the year 2022, the Supreme Court had ordered only Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Delhi to take suo moto action on hate speech. Now this order has been extended to all the states and union territories. Now the next hearing in this matter will be on 12 May 2023.
Justice Joseph said, “No one can be allowed to break the law. In England they have the concept of ‘fighting with words’. Can we pass an order that if you don’t act you will face contempt? We are doing this only keeping in mind the welfare of the public. The bench said, “Judges are apolitical and do not care about party A or party B. We only think of the Constitution and law of India.”
The apex court’s order came on a petition filed by journalist Shaheen Abdullah. Initially, he sought a direction to the Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand governments to register cases against hate speech. Then the Supreme Court had given this order. Now he had filed an application to make this order applicable to all the states and union territories.
During its earlier hearing, the bench had termed the state governments as impotent. The bench had said that every day fringe elements are giving hate speeches from television and platforms. Such statements are given that go to Pakistan. Everyone loves respect. The bench had said that the state governments should take action on this.
On the other hand, in the hate speech case itself, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the application of a platform named ‘Hindu Trust for Justice’ (HTJ). Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain, appearing for HTJ, told the court that in his application, a movement is being run across India by Muslim and Christian missionaries to convert Hindus. Due to this the population of Hindus is decreasing.
Advocate Jain argued in the court that many such cases have come to the fore, in which slogans of ‘Sar tan se juda’ were raised by Muslim mobs. Not only this, beheadings have also been done after this. On several occasions Muslim mobs took out processions and slogans for beheading were raised. In the application, a request has been made to take strict action on such hate speech.
A video that went viral on February 2, 2023 has also been mentioned in the petition. In the video, Furfura Sharif Peerzada Taha Siddiqui, based in Hooghly, West Bengal, can be heard asking Muslims to prepare their children for war against Hindus. The petition states that incidents of hate speech by Muslims against Hindus are on the rise.
He also said that even after such incidents come to the fore, the police do not act on them due to political reasons. He said, “Police do not take action against the culprits for political reasons or fear of Muslim mobocracy. In certain circumstances the police have registered FIRs, but have not taken any effective steps to stop the hatred against Hindus in a section of Muslims.”