Notice issued by SC on plea seeking to invoke UAPA against anti-muslim hate crimetext_fields
New Delhi: On Thursday, the Supreme Court issued a notice on a petition asking for urgent intervention to address the "growing menace of targeting and terrorising the Muslim Community in India." The petition has been linked to a group of hate speech-related cases that are pending before a bench chaired by Justice K. M. Joseph.
The petitioner requested instructions to the Union of India and the State Governments to launch independent, reliable, and unbiased investigations into the occurrences of hate crimes and hate speeches. The petitioner also sought for directions to initiate appropriate legal action against the speakers and organisations committing such hate crimes under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and other penal laws, live law reported.
Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal appeared for the petitioner before a bench comprising Justices Ajay Rastogi and C. T. Ravikumar
"Something needs to be done in the issue and some action must be taken against the people responsible", Sibal submitted. However, the bench commented that the petition's requests were "vague." It further stated that certain cases where FIRs have been filed may be given consideration.
In response, Sibal said that the prayers are not vague. "We have mentioned the incidents", he said. The senior attorney noted that despite numerous petitions being filed in court over the last six months to put an end to such offences, they are still occurring.
Shaheen Abdullah, the petitioner, claims that the Muslim community is being singled out and intimidated as a result of the open involvement of the ruling political party's members in making hate speeches. In the petition, it was stated, "the spread of hate towards Muslims and other minorities gets accelerated and becomes all the more far-reaching in its impact as an as result of the support, directly or indirectly extended to radical miscreants, who engage in acts of hate crimes, physical violence as well as communally charged speeches, by the ruling Political party."
The petitioner further emphasised how the media contributes to the propagation of hate crimes, claiming that news outlets and media outlets regularly run programmes that openly demonise Muslims. The petition provided examples of news channels that had hosted such programmes. The petitioner also provided examples of speeches made in public that explicitly advocated for the genocidal destruction of Muslims or speeches that called for an economic and social boycott of Muslims.
The petitioners added further, "No action seems to be forthcoming against the speakers or the parties that organize such events where genocidal and hateful speeches are delivered." "In most cases, minimal action of merely registering FIRs and that too under lesser offences is the only thing that is done by the authorities which seems to be more of a formality than any genuine initiation of the criminal machinery", the petition added.
The petition further pointed out that "despite the fact that this Hon'ble Court has been cognizant of the genocidal speeches and hate crimes against Muslims made at several events and several orders have been passed by this Court directing the concerned authorities to take appropriate action, the circumstances of the country only seem to be worsening with the growing radicalization of the Hindu community and the propagation of widespread hate against Muslims that also culminates into the physical abuse of Muslims by radical elements"