New Delhi : The Delhi High Court Women Lawyers Forum has addressed a letter petition to Chief Justice of India (CJI) D.Y. Chandrachud seeking directions to the Haryana government in relation to hate speeches and slogans calling for economic boycott and other abuse of certain communities.
It said that circulation of videos on various social media platforms can have the effect of inciting and provoking communal disharmony and sectarian violence.
As per the letter petition, a deep concern has arisen due to videos that have surfaced on social media of hate speech and incitement of targeted violence after clashes broke out in Haryana’s Nuh on July 31.
It said: “We, as members of the legal community and of Delhi High Court Women Lawyers Forum, residing in Delhi and Gurugram, seek urgent and expeditious directions to the state of Haryana to prevent incidents of hate speech and to take action against those who have perpetrated it.”
The petition sought directions to the Haryana government to take steps in accordance with the directions of the Supreme Court to prevent incidents of hate speech and take immediate action against persons found responsible for committing acts of hate speech.
Last week, a bench comprising of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and S.V.N. Bhatti, while hearing a plea seeking similar measures, had mooted the idea of forming a district-level committee by the Director General of Police (DGP) of all states to look into cases of hate speech.
The top court stressed that the issue of hate speech “has to be solved” and asked Additional Solicitor General K.M. Nataraj, appearing for the Centre, to seek instructions by August 18.
In a 2018 judgement, the Supreme Court had directed that mob vigilantism and mob violence have to be prevented by the governments by taking strict action. The court had said that the state has a sacrosanct duty to protect its people from unruly elements and perpetrators of vigilantism, with utmost sincerity.
The letter petition alleged that despite such repeated guidelines and directions, the state administration and the police failed to prevent the incidents of hate speech in Nuh and other districts of Haryana.
“The concern is magnified by the fact that the videos circulating on social media show individuals carrying arms in processions and chanting communal slogans in contravention of the Constitution, the Arms Act and the law laid down by the Supreme Court through its rulings,” it said.
Also, directions have been sought to promote an environment of fraternity between communities in Haryana by announcing programmes that highlight inclusion and awards for acts of communal harmony.
The letter petition also sought directions to track and ban videos that threaten to harm any community or places of worship or urge economic boycott of any community and to take immediate action against persons found responsible for committing acts of hate speech. — IANS