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Will take action if there’s any hate speech or incitement to violence but Cannot pre-empt: SC on Yavatmal and Raipur rallies

DMs, and SPs of Yavatmal, Raipur districts directed by the SC, to ensure no hate speech is made during rallies

The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued directives to the district magistrate and superintendent of police of Yavatmal and Raipur districts of Maharashtra and Chattisgarh respectively, to ensure no hate speeches are made during rallies of Hindutva outfit and BJP MLA from Jan 19 to Jan 25.

In response to the pending plea seeking revocation of permission to carry out rallies, the bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta refused, saying the guidelines to check such incidents regarding the hate speech issue have been given by the court already, hence it will not stay the rally.

“It is to be noted that persons against whom allegations have been made are not made parties. Nevertheless in view of assertions made, we require authorities to be cautious of the fact that no incitement to violence or hate speech can be permitted. We accordingly direct the district magistrate of Yavatmal, Maharashtra and Raipur, Chhattisgarh to take notice of the allegations and take appropriate steps as required”, the court said. 

The bench directed the DMs and SPs to monitor the rally of the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti and BJP legislator T Raja Singh which is scheduled to be held in the upcoming week, through CCTV cameras at the venues with recording facilities if necessary, so that perpetrators of hate speeches can be identified, if anything happens.

The petitioner, Shaheen Abdullah, had approached the court with a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) application following multiple instances of hate speeches that were reported, requesting the court to stay the rally. 

The application said that in the rally proposed by Hindu Janajagruti Samiti scheduled on January 18 in Yavatmal district, there are apprehensions of hate speeches. As is with the Raipur district rallies of Singh that are scheduled from January 19-25. 

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, speaking on behalf of the petitioner, asked “why do they allow this to happen?”, stressing that no action has been taken against the perpetrators despite filing an FIR.

“This will happen again and again”, he said, seeking revocation of the permission.

In response to this, the court said that it had passed orders in one case before, and it (hate speech) had stopped, and refused. 

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