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regular-article-logo Thursday, 18 July 2024

Supreme Court on hate speeches: This is 21st century, where have we reached in the name of religion?

At the outset, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for petitioner, said something needs to be done to tackle problem and action must be taken against those making such incendiary statements

Our Web Desk Published 21.10.22, 04:11 PM
Supreme Court

Supreme Court File picture

In what could be considered as one of its stringent comments on hate speeches, the Supreme Court on Friday wondered, "This is the 21st century. Where have we reached in the name of religion?", reports ndtv.com.

In response to a petition, on such speeches, the court added the state of affairs was "shocking for a country that is supposed to be religion-neutral".

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The apex court on Thursday had sought response from the Centre and the states to a plea seeking directions for taking appropriate steps to stop hate speeches against the Muslim community.

A bench of Justices Ajay Rastogi and CT Ravi Kumar issued notices to the Centre and all states while tagging the matter with other pending petitions on the issue pending before another bench.

Petitioner Shaheen Abdullah had moved the top court also seeking direction to the Centre and states to initiate independent, credible and impartial probe into the incidents of hate crimes and hate speeches across the country.

Abdullah also sought invocation of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and other stringent provisions to curb hate crimes and hate speeches.

At the outset, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the petitioner, said something needs to be done to tackle the problem and action must be taken against those making hate speeches or indulging in hate crimes.

The bench said the prayer in the plea is very vague and no specific instances have been mentioned.It said cognizance can be taken where an FIR has been lodged in a case. Sibal, however, submitted the prayer in the petition is not vague and mentions recent incidents of hate speeches.He added several petitions have been filed in the last six months to stop hate crimes but such incidents are still continuing.

He has said the Muslim community is being "targeted and terrorised" by the participation of the members of the ruling political party in delivering the hate speeches.

"The spread of hate towards Muslims and other minorities gets accelerated and becomes all the more far reaching in its impact as a result of the support, directly or indirectly, extended to radical miscreants, who engage in acts of hate crimes, physical violence as well as communally charged speeches by the ruling political party", it said.

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