Supreme Court dissatisfied with Delhi Police’s stand that ‘no hate speech at dharam sansad’

The Supreme Court on Friday expressed its dissatisfaction with the affidavit filed by Delhi Police which stated that the speeches made by right-wing journalist Suresh Chavhanke at the Hindu Yuva Vahini meet held in Delhi in December 2021 didn’t amount to hate speech against any particular community.

The top court was hearing a PIL filed by journalist Qurban Ali and Senior Lawyer Anjana Prakash (former judge of the Patna High Court) seeking criminal action against anti-Muslim hate speeches and genocidal calls made at the Dharam Sansad and the Hindu Yuva Vahini meets held at Haridwar and Delhi respectively in December 2021.

“The affidavit has been filed by Dy Commissioner of Police. We hope he has understood the nuances. Has he merely reproduced the inquiry report or applied his mind? Is it your stand as well or the reproduction of inquiry report of Sub Inspector level officer?” Justice Khanwilkar asked

The Court has granted two weeks’ time to the ASG to seek instructions and file a “better affidavit” by 4 May, reported Live Law.

The Delhi Police on Friday informed the Supreme Court that it will take “a relook” at its affidavit that ruled out any hate speech at the Hindutva event after the top court expressed its dissatisfaction over it.

Senior Lawyer Kapil Sibal appearing for the Petitioners said that the Delhi Police had tried to justify the call to “kill” as a measure to “save ethics of the community,” Live Law reported.

Sibal said: “Please see the counteraffidavit of the Delhi Police. He says he has conducted an inquiry, and that the persons had gathered to ‘save ethics of their community’- that is the response! It reads, ‘Inquiry into the matter has been conducted In respect of hate speech delivered at the auditorium situated at Govindpuri in Delhi. The video link provided by the complainant has been scrutinised. On careful analysis of the video attached with the complaint, no such words have have been heard. After viewing and listening to the video, it is seen the people gathered to save ethics of the community’…in the speech in question, they say, ‘We are ready to kill’! And the Delhi Police say it is to ‘save the ethics of the community’? Your Lordships may fix it for hearing and decide what constitutionally ethics are…”

Earlier, replying to the notice issued by the court with regard to the event in Delhi, the Delhi Police had said: “No hate was expressed in the events at Delhi against group, community, ethnicity religion or faith.”

It added that the “speech was about empowering once religion to prepare itself to face the evils which could endanger its existence, which is not even remotely connected to call for genocide of any particular religion.”