The Supreme Court on Thursday (March 5) refused to allow a victim of the recent Delhi violence to intervene in a matter in which the Centre has raised the issue of alleged hate speeches by activist Harsh Mander during anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) protests.
Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves mentioned the matter before a bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde and said the riot victim wanted to intervene in the Harsh Mander case, which is scheduled to be heard on Friday (March 6).
“We will not allow you to intervene,” Bobde told the advocate.
Gonsalves said he had seen the video of an alleged hate speech by Mander and wanted to place it on record.
“We had asked the solicitor general to put it (video of alleged hate speech by Mander) on record. We don’t need you in that proceeding,” the Chief Justice of India (CJI) said.
When Gonsalves said he had appeared for Mander before the high court in the Delhi violence matter, the bench said, “You can appear for him here also.”
The Delhi Police had on Wednesday (March 4) filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court against Mander and sought initiation of contempt proceedings against him for alleged “derogatory remarks” making insinuations against the apex court and its judges.
The affidavit was filed after the Centre’s allegation before the Supreme Court that Mander, who has sought registering of FIRs against some BJP leaders for their alleged hate speeches that purportedly led to the violence in Delhi, himself had made certain objectionable remarks against the top court, “majesty of law,” the government and Parliament.
The Supreme Court had taken strong note of the Centre’s allegations and not only refused to hear Mander’s counsel Karuna Nundy till the issue of his alleged hate speech is “sorted”, but also kept his petition to itself while transferring other pleas related to the violence to the Delhi High Court.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had referred to some of the alleged hate speeches delivered by Mander during the anti-CAA protests and at the Jamia Millia Islamia on December 16 last year.
He had read out in court certain excerpts from alleged speeches of Mander and said they included objectionable statements about the apex court, Parliament and the government.
The apex court, in May last year, had come down heavily on Mander for seeking recusal of the then CJI from hearing his PIL saying it would not allow anybody to “browbeat” and “damage the institution.”
The then CJI Ranjan Gogoi had struck off Mander’s name as the petitioner and had rather appointed his lawyer Prashant Bhushan as the amicus curiae in the case.