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No palpable progress in probe: SC on hate speeches

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The Supreme Court on Friday said that “no palpable progress has been made” by the Delhi police in the probe into cases of hate speeches made at religious assemblies in the national capital in 2021. The apex court has also sought a report from the police officer investigating the matters.

‘Why do you need 5 months for lodging an FIR?’

The incident dates back to December, 2021 and the FIR in the case was lodged on May 4 last year, said the top court said, wondering, “Why do you need five months for lodging an FIR? How many arrests have been made?”

A bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha said there was no palpable progress made in the investigation. The bench then asked Additional Solicitor General KM Nataraj to file an affidavit within two weeks of the Investigating Officer (IO) of the Delhi police giving details of the progress made so far in the investigation of the case.

The top court was hearing a contempt petition filed by activist Tushar Gandhi, alleging inaction by Uttarakhand and the Delhi Police in alleged hate speech cases. On November 11, last year, the bench had discharged the Uttarakhand government and the police chief from a list of parties in the contempt plea.

Also read: Hate speech on TV: ‘Why the govt remains a mute spectator?’ asks SC

Plea for action against Delhi, Uttarakhand police chiefs

The contempt petition was filed, seeking punishment for the police chiefs of Delhi and Uttarakhand for their alleged inaction in the cases in violation of the apex court judgment in the Tehseen Poonawala case. The top court had laid down guidelines as to what action needed to be taken in hate crimes, including mob lynching.

In his petition, the activist sought contempt action against senior police officials for not taking any steps over the issue, according to the guidelines laid down to curb hate speeches and lynching. Gandhi had sought contempt action against the police officials for not taking any action after incidents of hate speeches.

The plea submitted that immediately after the events took place, the speeches were made available and were in public domain, but still the Uttarakhand police and the Delhi police did not act against the perpetrators.

Hate speeches were made in the Dharam Sansad held in Haridwar from December 17 to 19, 2021 and in Delhi on December 19, 2021, the petition alleged.

(With agency inputs)

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