Friday, December 8, 2023

Hate speeches: HC directs Delhi police, AAP govt to file reply by Monday, hearing deferred to March 20

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The Delhi High Court on Thursday asked Delhi Police to respond on a plea seeking action against political figures including Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi, Salman Khurshid, BJP’s Anurag Thakur, Kapil Mishra, among others, for allegedly making hate speeches.

A bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Hari Shankar Prasad asked the police to file its replies on all petitions and impleadment applications by March 16.

The court posted the matter for the next hearing to March 20.

Appearing for the police, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had sought more time to file the replies, saying while they were ready, he needed more time to modify them. The prayer was granted by the bench.

The court also issued notice to the Delhi government and police on a separate plea seeking an SIT probe and computation of damage caused to the public property during the Delhi violence.

The petition has sought the sale of the properties of Sonia Gandhi, Kapil Mishra, Waris Pathan, Salman Khurshid and other respondents after attaching them to compensate the riot victims.

Last month, the Delhi High Court had issued a notice to the Centre, seeking its response on another plea demanding an FIR against Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi, among others, for allegedly delivering inflammatory speeches.

The Supreme Court had earlier this month asked the Delhi High Court to take up the matters pertaining to the Delhi riots on March 6, noting that a long adjournment till April 13 in the case was unjustified.

The bench of Justices Patel and Hari Shankar Prasad had deferred the hearing after the Solicitor General submitted that the situation was not conducive for registering FIRs against the BJP leaders for alleged hate speeches. It had granted the Centre four weeks time to file its reply.

Over 53 people lost their lives and more than 300 injured in the violence that erupted last month in the north-east Delhi.

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