New Delhi: The Supreme Court has requested the Delhi High Court to hear on Friday a plea by riot victims for registration of FIRs against BJP leaders Anurag Thakur, Kapil Mishra, Abhay Verma and Parvesh Verma for hate speeches, even as the Centre contended that “one or two speeches cannot cause riots”. An HC division bench of chief justice Dhirubhai Naranbhai Patel and C Hari Shankar had last week put off hearing in the case to April 13.
Hearing the plea of riot victims, who alleged there was unreasonable delay in hearing petitions related to Jamia students and the demand for registering FIRs against hate speeches, a three-judge SC bench of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and Justices BR Gavai and Surya Kant on Wednesday urged the Delhi HC to also explore the option of bringing together polarised political leaders to ensure peace prevailed in Delhi.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the CJI “it is fallacious to believe that one or two speeches can cause riots”, when he demanded to know if the atmosphere was “conducive” to file FIRs.
Is the situation conducive now? Will you file FIRs now,” CJI asked Mehta. The SG said that much had been made of his claim that the situation was not conducive but opposed any court direction for immediate registration of FIRs against those who indulged in hate speeches. Mehta argued that though there was no violence in Delhi in the last few days, if FIRs are filed, it may lead to fresh violence. “Both sides have indulged in hate speeches. If we file FIRs against leaders of both sides it might disturb Peace.
However, the CJI said: “No one is prejudiced by an FIR. No one is going to jail. If you fairly register FIRs against both sides there will be no disturbance.” But Mehta insisted that any attempt to register FIRs would spark violence.
“This gives an impression that no FIRs have been filed. That’s not true. We have filed over 268 FIRs regarding in the riots,” he said. He claimed that police was in possession of 7,000 hate speech videos and the time was not right for filing FIRs. “We will take cognisance.” He contended Justice Muralidhar’s order asking police to immediately file FIRs was wrong.