The Uttarakhand government on April 13 informed the Supreme Court that it had registered four FIRs and filed three chargesheets against those accused of delivering hate speeches at a ‘dharam sansad’ in Haridwar.
The court had, in the previous hearing, sought Uttarakhand’s response as to why there had been no arrests months after the alleged incident in December last year.
The petitions filed by Anjana Praakash, a former High Court judge, and journalist Qurban Ali submitted that “open calls for the extermination of an entire religious community” were made at Haridwar and a similar programme held in Delhi.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, for the petitioners, said another such event was due in Himachal Pradesh in a few days.
“I cannot even read out what they say in these programmes,” Mr. Sibal said.
A Bench led by Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and A.S. Oka asked the petitioners to serve Himachal Pradesh’s standing counsel a copy of their application impleading the State in the case.
The court also gave the petitioners liberty to inform the District Collector of the area concerned where the dharam sansad was going to be held in Himachal Pradesh. The court had previously also advised the petitioners to make a representation to the local authorities, making their apprehensions clear that speeches in these dharm sansads may run the risk of violating the penal law against hate and were against the judgments of the Supreme Court.
The court posted the case on April 22.
Mr. Sibal has argued that the incidents in Haridwar and Delhi took a different colour from even the past instances of mob lynchings.
The senior lawyer said more of these dharm sansads were being organised.
The petitioners have highlighted in the top court that “hate speeches consisted of open calls for genocide of Muslims in order to achieve ethnic cleansing. The speeches are not mere hate speeches but amount to an open call for murder of an entire community. The speeches, thus, pose a grave threat not just to the unity and integrity of our country but also endanger the lives of millions of Muslim citizens”.