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Hate Speech: Supreme Court flays Centre for remaining mute spectator 

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday pulled up the Central government for remaining a mute spectator to hate speeches being delivered during religious congregations and circulated through social media.


The Single-Judge Bench of Justice K.M. Joseph further admonished news channels for unregulated broadcast of hate speeches and said that though freedom of speech was very important, one should know where to draw a line.


The Apex Court observed that a hate speech was mostly based on certain convictions, which explained why it managed to grab the attention of audience and viewers.


It directed the government of India not to take an adversarial stand, but to assist the court during the hearing of petitions pending since last one year.


The Apex Court further directed the Union government to clarify it’s stand on whether or not, it intended to act on the recommendations of the Law Commission on curbing hate speech.


The top court of the country fixed November 23 as the next date of hearing.


Following the Supreme Court orders, the Law Commission had submitted a report in 2017, suggesting specific laws.


The Commission had noted that though hate speech had not been defined under any law in the country, but certain legal provisions prohibited select forms of speech as an exception to freedom of speech. 

The Commission had further prepared a draft legislation, suggesting insertion of new sections 153C (prohibiting incitement to hatred) and 505A (causing fear, alarm, or provocation of violence in certain cases).

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