Hate speech: Delhi Police to file report in Supreme Court soon on Hindu Yuva Vahini event
The Delhi Police on Monday apprised the Supreme Court that it would soon file its final report in the hate speech case regarding a Hindu Yuva Vahini event organised under the leadership of Sudarshan News TV editor Suresh Chavhanke in Delhi in December last year.
Appearing for Delhi Police, Additional Solicitor General K.M. Nataraj told the Apex Court that the investigation has been substantially completed. The final report, which was almost ready, had been sent for vetting and would be filed in the shortest time, he added.
The Bench of Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud, Justice P.S. Narasimha and Justice J.B. Pardiwala was hearing a contempt petition filed by activist Tushar Gandhi, alleging that Delhi Police had violated the directions issued in the Tehseen Poonawalla case regarding investigation of mob violence cases.
After taking note of the ASG’s submissions and recording the same, the Apex Court adjourned the hearing for three weeks.
Representing the petitioner, Advocate Shadan Farasat said that he had no objection to the adjournment, but that the Delhi Police should clarify certain additional aspects.
Farasat contended that as per the Delhi Police affidavit, they had fixed March 17 for collecting the voice sample of the accused. The same should be done expeditiously and should not take so long.
The Counsel further sought an affidavit regarding preventive steps in order to avoid repetition of such incidents in future.
The ASG said that he would take instructions on the same.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta requested the Apex Court to tag the hate speech case against Sudarshan TV’s UPSC Jihad programme with the ongoing matter, stating that the matter was connected to the present case.
Advocate Farasat opposed the tagging, stating that the contempt petition was regarding a different incident related to the UPSC ‘jihad’ programme and was tagged with a batch of petitions listed before the Bench led by Justice K.M. Joseph.
The court then said that it would look into the matter.
In November 2020, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court stating that the UPSC Jihad programme aired by Sudarshan TV was ‘not’ in good taste and had a likelihood to ‘promote’ communal attitudes.
It further cautioned the channel owned by Suresh Chavhanke to remain ‘careful’ in future.
Earlier on January 13, the top court of the country had pulled up the Delhi Police over slow progress in the investigation in the case. It further came down heavily on Delhi Police for taking five months to register an FIR and not making any arrests in the case.
Initially, the Delhi Police had stated that the speeches made during the Hindu Yuva Vahini event did not amount to any offence.
Submitting an affidavit before the Apex Court in another petition seeking action against hate speech crimes, the Delhi Police had said that no hate speech was given against any community at the event.
The top court of the country flayed Delhi Police over the statement and directed a senior officer to file a fresh affidavit in the case. Delhi Police then registered an FIR in the case in May, 2022.
(Case Title: Tushar Gandhi vs Rakesh Asthana And Anr)