Sunday, November 27, 2022

Hate Speech: Supreme Court issues notice to Uttarakhand government on bail plea of Waseem Rizvi

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The Supreme Court on Thursday issued notice to the government of Uttarakhand on the bail application filed by Jitendra Tyagi (formerly known as Waseem Rizvi), arrested in connection with investigation into the hate speeches delivered at the Hardiwar Dharam Sansad, held in December, 2021.

A Bench comprising Justice Ajay Rastogi and Justice Vikram Nath observed that such speeches were spoiling the atmosphere.

Urging the people to live together harmoniously, the Court said, “Stay together peacefully, enjoy life.”

Tyagi, former Chairperson of Shia Waqf Board, who recently converted to Hinduism, was arrested by the Uttarakhand Police in January, 2022 for his inflammatory speech at Haridwar in December last year.

He approached the Supreme Court after the Uttarakhand High Court rejected his bail plea in March this year.

When the matter came up for hearing today, the top court sought to know what a ‘Dharam Sansad’ was.

Senior Advocate Sidharth Luthra, appearing for Tyagi, informed the Court that since he (Luthra) was a follower of Arya Samaj, he could only guess from the videos of the event and as per the same, people wearing bhagwa (saffron) clothes were giving speeches.

Luthra said that people of the nation need to be sensitised.

However, the Bench said that such speakers have to be sensitised first, so that they don’t spoil the atmosphere.

Luthra informed the Court that Tyagi had been in custody for almost six months and that he suffered from medical ailments.

The complainant’s Counsel opposed the application, stating that Tyagi was trying to send out a message that he was not afraid of the law.

After briefly hearing the matter, the Bench sought reply from the State of Uttarakhand on the matter and fixed May 17 as the next date of hearing.

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