New Delhi : A Kerala-based NGO moved a plea in the Supreme Court seeking intervention in discussions "vilifying and maligning the dignity, reputation and identity of all those identified by the media as upper castes" in relation to Hathras case.
The application, filed through advocate Suvidutt M.S, expressed its reservations against invoking the caste of the victim as well as the accused in the Hathras case.The Hathras case is listed for hearing on Thursday.
"The outbreak of news about the death of the 19-year-old victim girl was followed by a flurry of information on the likely motives. Print, electronic, digital and social media platforms ran purely speculative theories that it was the outcome of caste rivalry and sought to blame it on an entire section whom they sought to address as 'upper castes'", said the plea.
The NGO, which claims to be working for uplift of economically weaker sections, argued there can be no denying the social oppression, economic deprivation and exploitation of SC/ST communities is one of the greatest blots on Indian society in general.
It insisted, however, there is need for genuine and responsible reporting and dissemination of facts and opinions on the facts of the case "in order to curb any spread of hateful speech or narratives which would consequently lead to friction and enmity between the members of different communities".
Adding to the gravity of the situation, the NGO contended, is the National Crime Records Bureau statistics showing thousands of cases registered as the outcome of caste-based discrimination are subsequently proved as "false".
The plea said: "Coupled with the improper enforcement of the existing provisions and a lack of guidelines and provisions to inhibit the spread of hateful speech and narratives, it can prove extremely detrimental to the social harmony amongst the various communities of our diverse population."
This report from IANS has been edited