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SC refuses to allow Colin Gonsalves to intervene in Harsh Mander’s hate speech matter

The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to allow senior advocate Colin Gonsalves to appear in a matter in which the Centre has raised the issue of an alleged inflammatory speech by activist Harsh Mander during an anti-CAA protest at Jamia Millia Islamia university.

“We will not allow you to intervene,” the CJI told Gonsalves.

Gonsalves had this morning mentioned the matter before a bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde on a riot victim’s behalf who wanted to intervene in the case that seeks FIRs against BJP leaders who made hate speeches. The court will hear the matter on Friday.

Gonsalves reasoned that he had seen the video of Mander’s speech which was mentioned by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta in the court on Wednesday in which he had alleged that its content as “hateful”.

While declining Gonsalves’ request to put the speech on record, the court said, “We had asked the solicitor general to put it on record. We don’t need you in that proceeding.”

When the senior advocate argued that he is a counsel for Mander before the high court in the Delhi violence matter, the bench retorted that “you can appear for him here also”.

After Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre and Delhi Police, brought to notice of the court the alleged hate speech made by Mander, the top court sought response of former IAS officer and activist, saying he won’t be heard in the case till there is clarity on his remark.

In his speech, Mander had allegedly made “derogatory remarks” against the top court.

He can be heard saying, “This fight can also not be won in the Supreme Court because, as we have seen in the case of the NRC, Ayodhya and Kashmir, the Supreme Court has not been able to protect humanity, equality and secularism. We will definitely try as hard as we can in the Supreme Court, because it is our Supreme Court after all. However, the final decision/verdict will be given neither by the parliament nor by the Supreme Court.”

Taking into consideration the submissions of SG, the bench said, “This is what you think of us. The court said it won’t hear him unless he clarifies on the matter.

Mehta also cited an old plea by Mander in which he had called upon Supreme Court judges to show loyalty to the nation and asked for the recusal of former Supreme Court chief justice Ranjan Gogoi in the case relating to identification and deportation of illegal immigrants, particularly in Assam.

The Delhi Police on Wednesday filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court against Mander and sought initiation of contempt proceedings against him for allegedly making insinuations against the court and its judges.

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear on Wednesday a plea seeking registration of FIRs against BJP leaders Anurag Thakur, Kapil Mishra and others for inflammatory speeches which allegedly triggered large-scale violence in the national capital.

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