“A Kind of Pressure on Us”: SC to Hear Hate Speech Cases

Date:

Supreme Court

Clarion India

NEW DELHI –  After High Court gave four weeks to take action against the BJP leaders for hate speeches, the Supreme Court on Monday is going to hear cases against BJP leaders accused of giving provocative speeches, filed by victims of last week’s Delhi violence in which 46 have been killed.

Listing the petitions for Wednesday as lawyers stressed on urgency, the Chief Justice, however, said the Supreme Court “wishes for peace but has limitations to its power” to control such violence.

“We are not equipped to prevent these things from happening. We can only deal with the situation after that. This is a kind of pressure on us. We can’t handle so much pressure,” said Chief Justice SA Bobde.

The Delhi High Court, which has earlier asked the police to file FIRs over hate speeches, had last week given the police four weeks to come back with an update on action taken against the leaders accused of inciting violence over the controversial citizenship law CAA. Petitions have called for First Information Reports (FIRs) against BJP leaders Kapil Mishra, Parvesh Verma, Anurag Thakur and Abhay Verma.

Lawyer Colin Gonsalves said the case filed by a few victims had been adjourned for a month by the High Court after the transfer of Justice S Muralidhar, who had urged tough and prompt action against the hate speeches.

“We went to the High Court. A notice was issued. It was carried to Thursday. The judge was transferred. The High Court Chief Justice adjourned the case for six weeks,” said Gonsalves.

“It is urgent. People are killed at the rate of 10 per day,” he stressed.
Chief Justice Bobde, asking whether any reason had been given by the High Court for the four-week gap, said: “In the absence of an order, what can we do?”

He added: “We would wish peace but you know that there are limitations to our power. There is some expectation, which we can’t do. We will take it up on Wednesday. Let us see what we can do.”

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