Nuh Violence: Delhi HC Women Lawyers Seek SC Action on Economic Boycott Calls

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The letter petition, signed by 101 women lawyers, urged the Supreme Court to direct the Haryana Government to take steps to prevent incidents of hate speech, ban videos of such speech in accordance with the law, and take immediate action against those found responsible for committing such acts. 

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI — The Delhi High Court Women Lawyers Forum on Thursday petitioned the Chief Justice of India, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, urging him to initiate action against viral videos calling for an economic boycott of certain communities in the aftermath of Nuh violence in Haryana.

The letter petition, signed by 101 women lawyers, urged the Supreme Court to direct the Haryana Government to take steps to prevent incidents of hate speech, ban videos of such speech in accordance with the law, and take immediate action against those found responsible for committing such acts. 

The petition expressed deep concern over the circulation of hate speech videos and incitement of targeted violence, media reports said.

Soon after communal clashes wreaked havoc in Haryana’s Nuh district on 31 July, the panchayats of several villages including Mahendergarh, Rewari, Palwal and Jhajjar districts called for a ban on Muslim traders from conducting business in the area.

They also said Muslims living in these areas must submit their documents to the police.

The letter petition from the lawyers said: “We, as members of the legal community and of The Delhi High Court Women Lawyers Forum, residing in Delhi and Gurgaon (Gurugram), have approached Your Lordship, vide this Letter Petition, to bring to your notice the fact that hate speech videos are circulating on social media which purport to have been recorded at rallies in Haryana. We humbly seek urgent and expeditious directions to the State of Haryana to prevent incidents of hate speech and to take action against those who have perpetrated it, in violation of directions repeatedly issued by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India and to immediately track and ban these videos that amplify hate speech and create an atmosphere of fear.”

The letter petition further referred to the suo motu cognisance taken by the Punjab and Haryana High Court with respect to illegal demolitions by the state authorities and states that the “swift and sensitive approach” has gone a long way in building the confidence of citizens in the rule of law.

“Despite such repeated guidelines and directions (passed by the Supreme Court), the unprecedented incidents of hate speech in Nuh and other districts, reveal a comprehensive failure on the part of the State Administration and Police to implement preventive measures, as well as, to have appropriate responsive measures during, and after, these incidents of hate speech,” the letter petition stated.

“Unchecked hate speech in rallies and speeches not only carry the risk of inciting violence but also, foster and spread an environment and culture of communal fear, harassment, and discrimination,” the letter added.

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