SC asks Delhi Police to file charge sheet in hate speeches case

Supreme Court Of India

NEW DELHI : The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Delhi Police to place on record the charge sheet in a case of hate speeches made at Dharam Sansad in Govindpuri in December 2021.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) K.M. Nataraj, appearing for the Delhi Police, submitted that the probe in the matter is at an advanced stage.

Nataraj contended before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud that they were expecting a forensic science laboratory (FSL) report on voice samples of the accused. He further added that the police will soon file a charge sheet in the matter.

The top court noted that the ASG has submitted that the investigation is now at an advanced stage and the report of the voice sample is expected soon from the forensic lab.

The bench, in its order, said: “A copy of the charge sheet be placed on records. The matter is in the first week of April.”

In January, the Delhi Police told the Supreme Court that they were conducting a fair and an unbiased investigation into the alleged hate speech made at a religious assembly in the national capital in 2021, and have examined the spokesperson of Delhi BJP, editor-in-chief of Sudarshan News, members of Hindu Yuva Vahini and others so far. It added that the forensic science laboratory is scheduled to compare in March Sudarshan News editor’s specimen voice sample with the video from YouTube.

Delhi Police investigating officer, in an affidavit, said that Vikram Bidhuri, spokesperson Delhi State BJP — who was one of the participants has been examined — and Suresh Chavhanke, editor-in-chief Sudarshan News, was examined in the case on November 1, 2022 and “he was bound down u/s 41A CrPC”. The police added that the alleged hate speech video has been examined and the transcript has been prepared.

“Forensic Science Laboratory, Delhi has fixed 17.03.2023 for recording of a voice sample of Suresh Chavanke. Thereafter his specimen voice recording will be compared with the video/audio downloaded from YouTube…effort is being made to obtain the details of the video of the speech made during the event and uploaded on YouTube, through the process of MLAT”, said the affidavit.

It added, “That investigation of the case is being conducted fairly and without any bias.”

Advocate Shadan Farasat, representing the activist Tushar Gandhi, had submitted that police have not taken any concrete steps to prevent such hate speeches.

On January 13, the Supreme Court had pulled up the Delhi Police for registering FIR on the alleged hate speeches made at Dharam Sansad in Govindpuri in December 2021 after a lapse of five months and not making an arrest or filing charge sheet till date. It had told the police that there was no palpable progress made in the investigation in the case.

The top court was hearing a contempt petition filed by Gandhi alleging inaction by Delhi Police in alleged hate speech cases. — IANS


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