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Decide on FIRs against 3 BJP leaders for hate speech: Delhi HC tells police

The three BJP leaders are Kapil Mishra, Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Verma
Security personnel conduct flag march during clashes between those against and those supporting the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in north east Delhi, Tuesday, February 25, 2020

PTI   |   New Delhi   |   Published 26.02.20, 07:58 AM

 The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the police to take 'conscious decision' with respect to lodging of FIRs against alleged hate speeches by three BJP leaders in connection with the CAA violence and convey by Thursday.

The three BJP leaders are Kapil Mishra, Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Verma.

A bench of justices S. Muralidhar and Anup J. Bhambhani took on record the assurance by special commissioner Praveer Ranjan that he will sit with the police commissioner today itself and view all video clips and take a conscious decision on lodging of FIRs.

The high court also issued notices to the parties concerned on the plea filed by the Centre seeking to be impleaded in the case.

Earlier in the day,  the high court asked solicitor-general Tushar Mehta to advice the police commissioner on lodging of FIRs against the three BJP leaders.

The high court said the situation outside was very unpleasant.

During the hearing, the court asked Mehta and deputy commissioner of police (crime branch) Rajesh Deo if they had seen the video clip of BJP leader Kapil Mishra making alleged hate speeches.

While the solicitor-general maintained that he does not watch television and has not seen those clips, Deo said he has watched the video of BJP leaders Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Verma but has not seen that of Mishra.

On the submission made by the police officer, justice Muralidhar remarked, 'I am really amazed at the state of affairs of the Delhi police and asked the court staff to play Mishra's video clip in the courtroom.'

When the gathering in the jam-packed courtroom started hooting, the bench asked them to maintain decorum or else it will hold an in-camera proceedings.

At the outset, the hearing witnessed heated arguments between solicitor-general Mehta and Delhi government counsel Rahul Mehra, who raised objection over the appearance of the law officer on behalf of the police commissioner.

Mehra said the issue has been settled by the Constitution bench of the Supreme Court on the powers of the Centre and the Delhi government and everyone should respect the Rule of Law of the country.

Mehta contended that the Union of India is also a stakeholder in the matter and he has been instructed by the LG to appear.

'Don't create an ugly scene here. I am not addressing a rally. I am addressing the lordships here,' he said, who was then allowed to advance arguments in the matter.

The SG urged the court to implead the Centre as a party in the petition as the issue involves law and order and requested that the matter be heard on Thursday.

He also said the statements by BJP leaders Verma and Thakur were made several days back and it was not urgent to be heard today.

The court observed, 'Does that not make it even more urgent. When the commissioner was made aware of such statements, does he need someone to approach him to take action. As a law officer you answer whether this prayer (for lodging FIRs against three BJP leaders) is not urgent.'

Mehta replied, 'I am not saying it is not urgent, but it can wait till tomorrow.'

The matter will be heard further on Thursday.


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