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Laughter and ‘equal reaction’ comment: How SC dismissed arguments after anti-Hindu speeches, Brahmin genocide calls were brought up in hate speech case

When Solicitor General Tushar Mehta mentioned anti-Hindu speeches made by DMK and PFI leaders, Supreme Court said that every action has an equal reaction

A Supreme Court bench today heard a contempt plea filed in a bunch of petitions seeking directions to regulate hate speech in the country. The bench of justice justices KM Joseph and BV Nagarathna made significant observations while hearing the contempt plea filed against Maharashtra government for allegedly failing to control hate speeches by Hindu organisations despite orders of the apex court.

When advocate Vishnu Jain raised the matter of hate speeches by leaders of other religions also, the court declined to consider it. Vishnu Jain had said that ‘sar tan se juda’ or beheading calls are made in the country and no actions is taken against it. But Justice Joseph said that this is a different matter, and only the contempt plea will be heard.

After that the Hindu Samaj filed an intervention application, and their lawyer questioned whether the right of Hindus to hold processions according to Hindu beliefs can be challenged by someone from some other religion, and that too without making Hindus a party. However, Justice Nagarathna countered them by saying that while they have righty to hold rallies, what they do at these rallies is under challenge.

Justice Joseph said that Hindus were breaking the law by making hate speeches against Muslims in the rallies. He said, “they are saying things which are denigrating and most imp thing is dignity which is demolished on a regular basis, like statements like ‘Go to Pakistan,’ they are who had actually chosen this country. They are your brothers and sisters.”

The court said that while it is accepting the intervention petition of the Hindu Samaj, they can’t ask the court to throw away the contempt plea.

After that the advocate of the portioner mentioned the specific incidents of hate speech made at the rallies by Hindu activists, and read some of the alleged hate speeches. Responding to this, Additional Solicitor General SV Raju appearing on behalf of Maharashtra govt said that the state govt is duty bound to register an FIR if there is a cognizable offence.

However, the discussions in the court changed after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta made submissions. He praised the petitioner for bringing the important matter to the court, and added that he has some similar hate statements made in Tamil Nadu and Kerala which sould be added to the case, but they were dismissed by the court.

Mehta said, “we have also found some statements.. which should be added to this petition. Leader of DMK party says that if you want equality you should butcher all the Brahmins.” However, Justice Joseph smiled at this submission, according to legal media portals. When Mehta said that this is not a matter which should be laughed at, Justice Joseph asked if knows who was Periyar.

The SG countered him by saying that a hate speech cannot be pardoned because it is said by someone famous. Then he mentioned a video from Kerala, where a minor Muslim boy was seen calling for the death of Hindus and Christians. “A child has been used to say this, we should be embarrassed,” Mehta said, and when justice Joseph said that they know about it, the SG said the court sound take Suo Motu cognisance in that case.

The court refused to see the clip, saying that this is the result of politics. ‘The moment politics and religion are segregated, this will end. When politicians stop using religion, all this will stop. We can only say depends on you will listen or not,’ justice Joseph said.

When asked why the court refused to watch the video, the bench said there is a method to see it, and added that it can be included in the submission. When the solicitor general asked the court not to be selective, and said that the clip is in public domain, justice Joseph made shocking remarks saying that “hate speech is a vicious cycle and people will react.”

At this point, advocate Jain asked about the “Gustaakh e Rasool ki ek hi saza sar tan se juda sar tan se juda,” slogan heard in Muslim rallies. Justice Joseph made another comment, saying “action has an equal reaction,” seemingly saying that the hate speeches by Muslims are the results of hate speeches by Hindus.

SG Mehta told the court that this comment will be justification of the call for murder of Hindus and Christians by Muslims, and asked the court to not make such remarks. But the judge justified his comment by saying that the state is behaving as impotent and does not take action on time.

When the Solicitor General said that the state will take action against hate speeches and there is no need for the sword of contempt, the court said that I is necessary to send a message that orders of the court can’t be defied. “Our orders have to be implemented,” justice Joseph said.

After that the court adjourned the matter till 28 April, asking not to turn the matter into a drama. The court said that the Hindu Samaj counsel can present his arguments on anti-Hindu hate speeches on that day. The SG had requested the court issue notice to the Kerala govt, to respond on actions taken on the PFI anti-Hindu rally seen in the video cited by Mehta, but the court didn’t respond to this.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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