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Hate speech: Delhi Police tells Supreme Court that no hate words were used at Hindu Yuva Vahini event

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The Delhi police told the Supreme Court that the speeches made at the Hindu Yuva Vahini event held at Delhi in December 2021 didn’t disclose any hate words against any particular community.

The Delhi police has filed its affidavit in a PIL, seeking its intervention in the matter pertaining to hate speeches delivered in December last year in Haridwar by one Yati Narsinghanand and the other in Delhi by Hindu Yuva Vahini.

After carrying out a preliminary inquiry by the Police and after examining video link and attached video in respect of hate speech delivered at Delhi, police found that no such words as mentioned by the complainant in his complaint have been used. 

There is no use of such words, which mean or could be interpreted as “open calls for genocide of Muslim in order to achieve ethnic cleansing or an open call for murder of an entire community ” in the speech.  

“After completion of the enquiry into the complaints , the inquiry officer submitted the enquiry report on 24.03.2022 closing all the complaints after evaluation of the alleged video clip , it was concluded that the alleged speech did not disclose any hate words against a particular community as  alleged or otherwise.  Bare perusal of the complaints made, the statement, which are alleged to be offensive, would divulge that there are no specific words against a particular community or against any community that were uttered by the gathering or any other person in that event”

-the affidavit states.

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It is mentioned that none of the words which were spoken during the events in any manner whatsoever overtly and explicitly described Indian Muslims as usurpers of territory , and as predators of land , livelihoods and of Hindu women , and nothing was said or  done which could create an environment of paranoia amongst any religion , cast or creed .  That tape basis and made by the police authorities are hand in glove with perpetrators of communal hate are baseless , imaginary and has no whatsoever , as the instant case is based on video evidence , there is hardly any scope  on the part of investigation agencies to temper with the evidence or hamper the investigation in any manner.  Since the video clip in its entirety was taken , there was no hate speech against any particular section of the society or the community .

The Delhi Police highlighted  that the Apex Court has time and again reiterated that commitment to freedom of expression demands that it cannot be suppressed unless the situations created by allowing the freedom are pressing and the community interest is endangered .  The anticipated danger should not be remote, conjectural or farfetched.  It should have a proximate and direct nexus with the expression.  The expression of thought should be intrinsically dangerous to the public interest which is not the case in instant matter.  

“That Justice Holmes for a unanimous court evolved the test of ” clear and present danger”.  He used the danger test to determine where the discussion ends and incitement or attempt begins, but here in the present case the speech does not disclose any such aim to incite caste, language and communal fanaticism as alleged or otherwise, nor the same has resulted in any  action has been taken in furtherance of any such incitement “, the affidavit reads.

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The PIL has been filed by journalist Qurban Ali and former Judge of Patna High Court and Supreme Court Senior Advocate Anjana Prakash.

The Petitioners referred to the case of Pravasi Bhalai Sangathan v. Union of India (2014) 11 SCC 477, and submitted that the Apex Court has recognised ‘hate speech’ as a violation of Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution.

Between December 17 and 19, 2021 at two separate events organised in Delhi and Haridwar, hate speeches were made by a group of people calling for genocide of members of the Muslim community. The Uttarakhand Police had filed an FIR on 23.12.20221 under Section 153A and 295A of the IPC against 5 people, namely Wasim Rizvi, Sant Dharamdas Maharaj, Sadhvi Annapoorna alias Pooja Shakun Pandey, Yati Narsinghanand and Sagar Sindhu Maharaj.

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