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Supreme Court issues notice on Brinda Karat plea seeking FIR against BJP leaders for hate speech

The Supreme Court issued notice on Monday on a Special Leave Petition filed by Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Brinda Karat seeking registration of an FIR against BJP leaders Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Verma for allegedly delivering hate speeches in 2020.

While issuing notice returnable in three weeks, the Bench of Justice K.M. Joseph and Justice B.V. Nagarathna noted that prima facie, the stand of the Magistrate that a sanction was required to register FIR in the case, appeared to be incorrect. 

Earlier, a trial court order had rejected Karat’s plea seeking registration of FIRs against the BJP leaders.

The Apex Court noted that prima facie, the stand of the Magistrate that a sanction was required to register FIR in the case, appeared to be incorrect. 

Noting various speeches filed by Karat, the petition highlighted the speech delivered by Anurag Thakur on January 27, 2020 at a rally shouting the slogan, ‘Desh ke gaddaron ko, goli maro saalon ko’. 

The plea further mentioned another speech made by Parvesh Verma dated January 27-28, 2020, while campaigning for the Bharatiya Janata Party and subsequently in an interview given to the media.

Representing Karat, Senior Advocate Siddharth Agarwal contended that the Election Commission had taken action and barred them from campaigning for a certain amount of hours. 

The provocative speech using words such as ‘goli maro’ translated into real action after a person fired at the protesters within the next few days. 

As per Agarwal, the Delhi High Court had in a collateral proceeding, commented adversely on speeches:.

However, the Magistrate refused to order registration of FIR citing lack of sanction. He submitted that the judgment relied on by the Magistrate, which dealt with the need for sanction to register FIR, was in the context of the Prevention of Corruption Act. 

Pulling up the trial court, the Apex Court said that it completely erred in the verdict by saying that a sanction was not needed for an FIR. 

The top court of the country said three years have passed since the incident, but no FIR has been registered yet.

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