Sunday, February 5, 2023

Supreme Court to hear plea of elderly Muslim man beaten up in Noida along with other petitions against hate speech

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The Supreme Court heard the petition filed by Noida resident Kazim Sherwani who was beaten up in an instance of hate speech turning violent and has added it to petitions against hate speech. Sherwani’s plea had sought a fair and impartial probe into the incident which he said was occasioned only because he was Muslim.

The bench of Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice C.T. Ravikumar asked the counsel appearing for the petitioner to hand over the copy of the petition to the Standing Counsel. However, the court refused to issue notice. “A judicial order has already been issued in this regard, said Justice Khanwilkar.

In the said judicial order, it has been stated that all the cases of hate speech will be heard by the bench of Chief Justice of India Justice N.V. Ramana and a comprehensive order will be passed on it.

Senior Advocate Huzefa Ahmadi appearing for the petitioner placed her reliance on Tehseen Poonawala v Union of India (2018) 9 SCC 501, seeking directions to be issued in this regard.

Also Read: Constitution Day: CJI NV Ramana calls upon legal fraternity to protect judges, institution from targeted attacks

The Sherwani petition notes that it is not a lone case of public beating and mob lynching but there have been several other similar incidents across several states. Many victims are not able to frame the offence as a hate crime in the absence of a preliminary investigation as policemen have discouraged them to do so by not letting them file FIRs. Cross cases are promptly registered and the petitioner apprehends that if they press their case, then their family would face the same fate.

Kazim Sherwani stated that the Supreme Court has already issued a number of directions regarding the prevention and punishment in relation to hate crimes, i.e., people being mob lynched or subjected to mob violence on account of their identity in the Indian social context. The CJI-led bench will hear the case of investigation into the beating of Sherwani in Noida along with the petitions related to hate speech on December 3.

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