People who deliver hate speeches should sensitise themselves: SC
People who deliver hate speeches should “sensitise themselves” because they are “spoiling the atmosphere”, the Supreme Court observed on Thursday at a hearing related to the vitriolic Haridwar Dharma Sansad held last December.
The court issued a notice to the Uttarakhand government on the bail plea of Jitender Tyagi, formerly Waseem Rizvi, arrested in January on the charge of delivering a hate speech at the Haridwar event where calls were sounded for genocide against Muslims.
“Before they ask others (Hindus) to sensitise (themselves to alleged threats to the majority community), they have to sensitise themselves first. They are not sensitised,” the bench of Justices Ajay Rastogi and Vikram Nath said in oral observations during a brief hearing.
“This is something which is spoiling the whole atmosphere. You are just spoiling the atmosphere. Just stay together peacefully, enjoy the life,” Justice Rastogi, who headed the bench, told the accused.
Rizvi, former chairperson of the Uttar Pradesh Shia Wakf Board, had converted to Hinduism shortly before the December 17-19 Dharma Sansad.
Senior advocate Sidharth Luthra, the defence lawyer, told the bench that his client had already spent several months in jail and suffered from several ailments, warranting his early release.
A lawyer for the Haridwar-based complainant in the case opposed the bail plea, saying members of the Dharma Sansad were unrepentant and were still sending a message to the people that they were not afraid of the law.
Luthra said: “I (Tyagi) am just an Arya Samaji. I am not involved in any hate speeches. I have only seen some videos where people in bhagwa kapdas (saffron clothes) got together and gave speeches.”
He agreed that speakers at such events needed to be sensitive.
The next hearing is on May 17.
Several sadhus apart from Tyagi have been arrested in the case and charged with promoting enmity on grounds of religion. None of them has yet got bail.