SC asks Centre to come up with ‘practical steps’ to curb hate speech

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | August 25, 2023 IST

Supreme Court

New Delhi, Aug 25: The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Centre to come up with ‘practical steps’ to ensure compliance with its judgments to curb hate speech. 

A bench comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and S.V.N. Bhatti indicated that it will pass detailed guidelines in this regard in addition to the existing mechanism, saying that it wants “peace, harmony and brotherhood".

“We are not diluting what has been said... We are adding to it, not subtracting anything,” it said. 

The bench asked Additional Solicitor General K.M. Nataraj to furnish information relating to states that have not yet appointed nodal officers, and details of district-wise nodal officers appointed by the state governments pursuant to an earlier judgment of the top court to look into incidents of hate speech.

It said that CCTV cameras should be installed as it is a big deterrent in itself, adding that police in plain clothes should also be deployed. 

The Supreme Court also asked the Centre to file a status report within three weeks after collating responses from the state governments. 

Last week, the apex court had said that it does not need to reiterate that hate speech cases should be dealt with as per the law, irrespective of the community or religion of the offender.

Pleas were filed before the Supreme Court 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.

Earlier, it had asked 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 for formation of a district-level committee by the Director General of Police (DGP) of all states to look into hate speech cases. 

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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