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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday, April 13, directed the Uttarakhand government to file a status report on the investigation into the Haridwar Dharma Sansad hate speech cases.
The court also allowed petitioners to serve copies of the new applications filed against similar events planned in Himachal Pradesh on the respective state government. It has also allowed them to lodge complaints with District Collectors against such proposed events in the state.
LiveLaw has reported that the order was passed by a bench comprising Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and Abhay S. Oka.
Journalist Qurban Ali and senior advocate Anjana Prakash (former judge of Patna high court) had sought criminal action against anti-Muslim hate speeches delivered between December 17 and 19, 2021 in separate two events – one organised in Haridwar by Yati Narsinghanand and the other in Delhi by Hindu Yuva Vahini.
Three retired members of the Indian Armed Forces – Major General S.G. Vombatkere, Colonel P.K. Nair and Major Priyadarshi Chowdhury – had also filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court seeking that a special investigation team be constituted to investigate the anti-Muslim hate speech at the two ‘Dharma Sansad’ events.
Ali and Prakash had asked the top court to issue directions to the police authorities to comply with the guidelines laid down by it in Tehseen Poonawalla vs Union of India and to consequently define the contours of ‘duty of care in investigation’ to be undertaken by the police authorities.
They filed the petition early in January 2022 against the Ministry of Home Affairs, Delhi police commissioner, and the Uttarakhand director general of police.
Ali and Prakash were represented by senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who said a similar event is planned on Sunday, April 17.
“I don’t even want to read the kind of things that were said in public…I don’t even have to read what is here,” he said. The petitioners had sought urgent listing a day ago, citing the upcoming event.
The Uttarakhand government told the apex court that police had registered four FIRs and filed charge sheets in three of them.
One of those out on bail for calls for a Muslim genocide at the December 2021 Haridwar Dharma Sansad, Yati Narsinghanand, recently broke the conditions of his bail by repeating the message for which he was arrested at the time, and made calls for violence against Muslims.