Delhi HC issues notice on plea seeking SIT probe against Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Manish Sisodia etc for allegedly making hate speeches

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The Delhi High Court on Friday issued notices to the Centre, Delhi government on a plea seeking registration of FIR against Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Vadra and others on charge of delivering hate speeches.

A Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel sought responses from the Central and Delhi governments apart from Delhi Police on a petition filed by Lawyers Voice. The plea also sought a case against Aam Aadmi Party leaders Manish Sisodia and Amanatullah Khan, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen leaders Akbaruddin Owaisi and Waris Pathan, and lawyer Mehmood Paracha. “Issue directions to constitute an SIT to look into these hate speeches and take appropriate action. Issue direction to register an FIR against those named in the petition,” the plea said. The petitioner maintained that if the relief sought was not granted, hardship to him and others will continue. The bench also heard an application filed by advocate Sanjiv Kumar for a National Investigation Agency probe into the Delhi violence and registration of a case against Mander, actress Swara Bhaskar, AAP leader Amanatullah Khan and Radio Jockey Sayema.

The matter will again be heard on April 13, 2020. Several pleas relating to hate speeches by certain political leaders were moved in the High Court on Thursday. It was claimed that the speeches had led to communal tensions and resulted in the death of many persons in northeast Delhi.

Violence had erupted between the supporters and opponents of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in northeast Delhi’s Jaffrabad, Maujpur and Gokulpuri areas since Sunday. At least 42 persons were killed and over 200 injured in the unprecedented violence.

Meanwhile, in a major turn of events, the Delhi High Court hearing a plea demanding registration of FIRs against certain BJP leaders who allegedly made hate speeches thereby inciting violence in Northeast Delhi, on Thursday gave the Centre four weeks to file its response in the case while making it a party in the matter. A two-judge bench of justices DN Patel and C Harishankar listed the matter for further hearing on April 13, 2020. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing Delhi Police, had told the high court that the time was “not conducive” to file FIRs against those who allegedly made incendiary, hate speeches. The Delhi Police further told the court that in a conscious decision, it has decided not to file an FIR for hate speech against anyone at this stage as it would not help in restoring peace and normalcy in Delhi. The petitioner, retired bureaucrat Harsh Mander, had sought a judicial enquiry into the incidents of violence, FIR against culprits, compensation for the riots’ victims and deployment of Army in the affected areas.

The plea, filed by a group, Lawyers Voice, sought directions to constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) and registration of FIR against Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, AAP leaders Manish Sisodia and Amanatullah Khan and AIMIM leaders Waris Pathan and Akbaruddin Owaisi and advocate Mehmood Pracha.

The petition also sought appropriate action against these leaders. In the plea, the organisation said that since the violence is allegedly due to the outcome of hate speeches given by the mentioned public figures, registration of FIR is the first step to control the situation and stop the violence. The lawyers’ group told the court that Sonia Gandhi, in her speech during a public rally, had asked the people to come out on the streets. Earlier in the day, the Delhi High Court had issued another notice to the Union government in connection with the impleadment application seeking FIR against controversial George Soros-linked ‘activist’ Harsh Mander, and rabble-rousers like RJ Sayema, Swara Bhaskar, Amanatullah Khan (AAP Party) under appropriate IPCs & IT Act and also directions to NIA to conduct an investigation into anti-Hindu riots.

Edited by Pragash Boopal

Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje

I am Soma Singh from Sharda University School of Law, my interest areas are Corporate law, jurisprudence and ADR. I describe myself as an ambivert. Enjoys reading mythological tales