‘Dharma Sansad’ hate speech case: Army veterans move SC seeking SIT probe

The Supreme Court of India

New Delhi:  Three Army veterans have moved the Supreme Court seeking a direction to constitute a special investigating team (SIT) to probe the alleged hate speeches made at Haridwar and Delhi last month.

The petitioners — Major General SG Vombatkere, Colonel PK Nair and Major Priyadarshi Chowdhury — cited the videos circulated on social media where blatant calls for genocide against minority communities were been made.

The plea contended that one of the speeches specifically calls upon the police and the army to pick up arms against the minorities. Citing the Delhi event, the plea said that in the video of the event, a gentleman can be seen administering an oath to a group of people to “die for and kill” to make India a “Hindu Rashtra”.

“The seditious and divisive speeches violate not only the criminal law of the land, but also strike at the core of Article 19 of the Constitution of India. These speeches stained the secular fabric of the nation and also have serious potential to impact public order adversely,” read the plea.

The plea added, “It is a genuine concern that the unity, cohesiveness and morale of our men and women in the armed forces and the police forces will be seriously affected if such blatant calls for violence against one or the other community in our diverse and plural society are not acted against.”

The plea contended that hate speeches of such a blatantly unconstitutional and vile character have perhaps not been made so openly since pre-Independence India.

“Without mincing words, the utterers of these hate speeches have abused their fundamental right to free speech and expression and used it to tear through the secular fabric of our country by threatening the life of fellow citizens of select communities. Far from being stray and isolated events, these speeches are a part of a series of similar speeches made in the past,” read the plea.

On January 12, the Supreme Court had sought a reply from the Centre and the Uttarakhand government on a petition — filed by retired Patna High Court Judge Anjana Prakash and journalist Qurban Ali — seeking an independent probe into the hate speech incident.-IANS


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