Indian SC asks three state governments to take action against hate speeches



The Indian Supreme Court has directed Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand governments to take sou motu action on hate speeches by promptly registering criminal cases against the culprits without waiting for a complaint to be filed.

A bench of Justices K M Joseph and Hrishikesh Roy on a petition filed by journalist Shaheen Abdullah issued notices to Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

The apex court said action must be taken against those making hate speeches irrespective of their religion to preserve the secular fabric of the nation. The court warned that it will initiate contempt proceedings over any delay on the part of the administration in taking action on this “very serious issue”.

Meanwhile, the Indian top court agreed to hear a fresh plea, challenging the remission of sentence and the release of 11 Hindutva convicts involved in 2002 gang-rape and murder case in the Indian state of Gujarat. The case is related to the gang-rape of Muslim woman, Bilkis Bano and murder of her seven family members by the Hindu fanatics during the anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat in 2002.

A bench of justices Ajay Rastogi and C T Ravikumar tagged the matter with the main petition and said it would be heard along with it. The court fixed the matter for hearing on November 29.

The fresh plea has been filed by the National Federation of Indian Women, challenging the remission of sentence and the release of convicts in the case.

Bilkis Bano was 21 years old and five-month pregnant when she was gang-raped. Her three-year-old daughter was among the seven family members killed. The 11 men convicted in the case walked out of the Godhra sub-jail on August 15 after the Gujarat government allowed their release under its remission policy.—KMS


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