The Top Court today issued notice to the Uttarakhand government on a petition by journalist Qurban Ali and former Patna High Court judge Anjana Prakash, seeking action against those who made hate speeches against the Muslim community at Dharam Sansad in Haridwar.
A bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana and Comprising Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli allowed the petitioners to approach local authorities with their plea to stop a proposed Dharam Sansad scheduled at Aligarh on January 23.
Appearing for the petitioner, senior advocate Kapil Sibal said the Dharam Sansad is going to organise another congregation at Aligarh and should be restrained from making hate speech there while the SC is seized of the matter.
Sibal says when the election process is on unless preventive detention steps are taken against Dharam Sansad participants the country would slip on its ethos.
The senior lawyer said more of these ‘Dharm Sansads’ had been organised. The next was on January 23 at Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh, he said.
“If this court does not take quick steps, ‘Dharm Sansads’ would be held in Una, Kurukshetra, Dasna, Aligarh and in States where the process of election is going on. The atmosphere of the entire country will be vitiated. No arrests have taken place,” Mr. Sibal submitted.
The apex court has sought responses of Uttarakhand and Delhi Police to Ali's petition in 10 days and asked the petitioner to bring it to the notice of authorities concerned about Dharam Sansad scheduled to be held at Aligarh on January 23 and his apprehensions about a breach of laws and SC judgments.
The Bench, during the hearing, noted that hate speech had been the subject of several petitions already pending with another Bench of the court. If that was so, this case ought to be tagged with the earlier ones before the other Bench.
The CJI, however, said the Haridwar hate speech case would be listed 10 days later, either separately or with the earlier cases.
Videos of the Dharma Sansad in Haridwar were widely posted on social media, in which the speakers were heard calling for the genocide of members of a community.
The petition says that between December 17 and 19 at two separate events held in Delhi by the Hindu Yuva Vahini and in Haridwar by religious leader Yati Narsinghanand, hate speeches were made, consisting of open calls for genocide of Muslims in order to achieve ethnic cleansing.