Supreme Court issues notice to Union govt on plea to act against anti-Muslim hate crimes

The Supreme Court on Thursday issued notice on a petition seeking urgent intervention to stop the “growing menace of targeting and terrorizing the Muslim Community in India”.

The petitioner Shaheen Abdullah was seeking direction to the Union of India and the State Governments to initiate independent, credible and impartial investigation into the incidents of hate crimes and hate speeches, Live Law reported.

The petitioner also prayed for directions to initiate appropriate action under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and other relevant penal laws against the speakers and organizations engaging in such hate crimes against Muslims.

The petition has been tagged with a batch of matters relating to hate speech pending before the bench presided by Justice K. M. Joseph, according to the legal website.

“Something needs to be done in the issue and some action must be taken against the people responsible”, senior lawyer Kapil Sibal submitted.

The top court however remarked that the prayers in the petition were “vague”. A bench comprising Justices Ajay Rastogi and C. T. Ravikumar added that cognizance can be taken of individual cases where FIRs have been filed.

Kapil Sibal replied that the prayers are not vague. “We have mentioned the incidents”, he said. Sibal added that several petitions have been filed in the court over last six months to stop such crimes, but they are continuing.

“The spread of hate towards Muslims and other minorities gets accelerated and becomes all the more far reaching in its impact as a as 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,” read the petition.

“No action seems to be forthcoming against the speakers or the parties that organize such events where genocidal and hateful speeches are delivered.” “In most cases, minimal action of merely registering FIRs and that too under lesser offences, is the only thing that is done by the authorities which seems to be more of a formality than any genuine initiation of the criminal machinery”, the petition added.

“Despite the fact that this Hon’ble Court has been cognizant of the genocidal speeches and hate crimes against Muslims made at several events and several orders have been passed by this Court directing the concerned authorities to take appropriate action, the circumstances of the country only seem to be worsening with the growing radicalization of the Hindu community and the propagation of widespread hate against Muslims that also culminates into the physical abuse of Muslims by radical elements,” the petition pointed out.