Nobody Taking Action Against Hate Speech Despite Orders, Says Supreme Court

The top court made the observation while a lawyer requested an urgent hearing against the Hindu Jan Akrosh Morcha to be held in Mumbai on February 5.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday lamented that despite the court passing many orders, nobody is taking action against hate speeches.

A bench of Justices K.M. Joseph, Aniruddha Bose and Hrishikesh Roy made the observation while a lawyer requested an urgent hearing against the Hindu Jan Akrosh Morcha to be held in Mumbai on February 5. The lawyer had said that at a similar event held in the city on January 29, there were calls to violence against Muslims and to boycott the community.

According to the news agency PTI, the bench said, “We are with you on this, but understand that the Supreme Court cannot be triggered every time there is a rally notified. We have already passed an order which is clear enough. Just imagine rallies happening all across the country. Every time there will be an application before the Supreme Court. How can that be feasible?”

“You ask us to be embarrassed again and again by getting an order. We have passed so many orders yet nobody is taking action. The Supreme Court should not be asked to pass an order on an event-to-event basis,” the bench observed.

The bench said that it will seek instructions from Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud, and subject to his approval, post the matter for hearing on Friday. However, at the lawyer’s persistence, the court asked her to serve a copy of the application to the counsel for Maharashtra.

“Serve a copy on the State, we will list it tomorrow subject to orders of the CJI. Only this case, not the entire batch,” the bench said.

The top court’s statement that “nobody is taking action” despite passing several orders refers to the order it issued on October 21 last year, asking the Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand governments to clamp down on hate speeches and register criminal cases without waiting for a complaint to be filed.

The court had warned that any delay by the administration in taking action on this “very serious issue” would invite the court’s contempt.

According to the application that was filed on Thursday, the mass rallies where hate speeches are given are organised “with the consent and knowledge of the government”. The rally organised by Hindu Janakrosh Morcha in Mumbai on January 29 featured “open calls to kill Muslims by a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of the Legislative Assembly, T Raja Singh”, the application noted, according to Bar and Bench.

“… the aforementioned Sakal Hindu Samaj will be organizing yet another rally, of a similar nature, on 05.02.2023 in Mumbai. At least 15,000 people are expected to participate in the said rally. The very nature of all the previous rallies clearly indicate the kind of hate speeches that will in all likelihood be delivered at the same,” the applicant said.