The Supreme Court on Monday told a PIL petitioner, who had raised the issue of “government inaction” on “hate speech”, that it may be correct to say that hate speeches vitiated the atmosphere of the country and that There is a need to curb it.
The Chief Justice made the remarks of India U U Lalit during the petition hearing, which alleged that the minority community was “involved in winning majority Hindu votes, grabbing power in all positions, committing genocide and making India the first Hindu nation”. Hate speeches are being given. Two thousand twenty-four elections,” and many crimes were committed on this account.
Presiding over a two-judge bench of Justice S Ravindra Bhat, the CJI, however, said the petition lacked specific or detailed information and contained only “vague” claims. “We also don’t know the details of those particular offenses, the situation, what you have to say, who are the persons involved, whether any offense was registered, was not registered, etc. You are probably right that the entire atmosphere is getting polluted due to hate speeches. Perhaps you have reasonable grounds to say this needs to be curbed. Still, there cannot be such an ominous petition under Article 32,” CJI Lalit wondered whether the petitioner should be given an amicus curiae.
Petitioner Harpreet Mansukhani told the bench that “hate speech has been turned into a profitable business”. Mansukhani claimed that he had proof that a political party had funded the Hindi film ‘The Kashmir Files’, which depicted the forced exodus of Kashmiri Pandits accused of spreading anti-Muslim hatred, has gone.
Initially, the bench said that in incidents of hate speech, ordinary proceedings under criminal law would have to be initiated on a case-to-case basis. “We have to see who is involved and who is not,” the CJI said.
The petitioner, however, submitted that it was too late to stop such incidents and that the court’s directions were necessary. “Every time a hate speech is given,” she said, “it is like an arrow that never returns”. Stating that factual background is required for the court to take cognizance, the bench sought specific “immediate examples”, to which the petitioner said it would file an affidavit citing particular instances. The court will hear the PIL on November 1.
Meanwhile, in a related matter, a bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Hima Kohli asked the governments of Delhi and Uttarakhand to file affidavits on the action taken in the ‘Dharma Sansad’ events where alleged hate speeches were made.