Hate speech cases of all sides to be dealt with as per law: SC

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | August 18, 2023 IST

Hate Speech

New Delhi, Aug 18: The Supreme Court said on Friday that it does not need to reiterate that ‘hate speech’ cases be dealt with as per the law, irrespective of the community or religion of the offender.

A bench comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and S.V.N. Bhatti was hearing pleas seeking action against calls for social and economic boycott of Muslims following the communal clashes that broke out in Haryana's Nuh on July 31.

“We are very clear. Whether it be one side or the other side, they have to be treated alike. If anyone indulges in anything which we know as 'hate speech', they will be dealt with as per the law. This is something we have already expressed our opinion on,” the bench said in a short hearing after a counsel said that a rally was organised in July by the Indian Union Muslim League in which slogans against Hindus were raised. 

The court adjourned hearing the matter to August 25 as the bench said that it will proceed to hear pleas challenging the validity of caste-based survey in Bihar.

Last week, the Supreme Court had asked the petitioners to forward hate speech videos to the nodal officers appointed by the state governments pursuant to the judgment of the top court. 

It had also mooted the formation of a district-level committee by the Director General of Police (DGP) of all states police to look into the hate speech cases. 

The top court had stressed that the issue of hate speech “has to be solved” and had asked Additional Solicitor General K.M. Nataraj, appearing for the Centre, to seek instructions by August 18.

“There has to be harmony and comity between communities. Everyone is responsible. All communities are responsible. This is not acceptable,” the bench had said during the hearing. 

The plea filed before the apex court said that more than 27 rallies have been organised across various states where blatant hate speeches calling for the “killing and social and economic boycott of Muslims” have been openly delivered.

In April this year, the top court had stressed that the Constitution envisages India as a secular nation, while directing all states and Union Territories to take strict action in hate speech cases, and register criminal cases irrespective of religion against the culprits without waiting for a complaint to be filed.  (IANS)

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