Delhi HC adjourns hearing on plea seeking FIRs against BJP leaders; gives Centre time till April 13 to file a counter affidavit

The Delhi High Court on Thursday adjourned the hearing a plea filed by activist Harsh Mander seeking registration of FIRs against BJP leaders Kapil Mishra, Parvesh Verma and Anurag Thakur for their alleged hate speeches.

The High Court on Thursday adjourned the hearing till April 13 and also made the Centre a party in the petition and sought its response on the matter.

The Court has given the government time till April 13 to file a counter affidavit on the petition seeking the arrest of the three leaders.

A division bench of Justices D.N. Patel and C. Harishankar passed the order.

Speaking before a division bench headed by Chief Justice DN Patel, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta who is representing the Delhi police had prayed for allowing the application seeking impleadment of Union of India as a party to the petition in the matter.

The Delhi Police had also added that it was not possible to file FIRs at this point of time as that would not help in the restoration of peace to the city. The police informed that they had filed 48 FIRs pertaining to the the violence.

Mehta also argued that while Mander had selected three exchanges as being 'hate speeches', there was a far greater number of incendiary speeches made.

Many others, it would seem, agree with Mehta. On Thursday, there were several petitions filed in the Delhi High court seeking directions for registration of an FIR against many others for allegedly making hate speeches. This included politicians, actors and even mediapersons.

A group called Lawyers Voice for example, sought registration of FIRs against Congress President Sonia Gandhi as well as party leaders Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi. It also sought FIRs against Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan and AIMIM leaders Waris Pathan and Akbaruddin Owaisi, as well as advocate Mehmood Pracha.

The Hindu Sena in the meantime sought the registration of an FIR against three politicians from the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM).

"The hate speech of Waris Pathan surcharged the communal tension in Delhi which has resulted in the death of several people," the Hindu Sena alleged in its plea.

An impleadment application has also been filed against Mander himself.

Senior advocate Sanjjiiv Kkumaar flied the application seeking direction to police to register an FIR.

Alongside he also named Radio Mirchi jockey, RJ Sayema, actor Swara Bhasker and AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan.

The adjournment comes a day after Justice Muralidhar on Wednesday expressed "anguish" over the police's inability to curb violence and for failing to register FIRs against the three BJP leaders for making incendiary comments.

Later on Wednesday, he was transferred to the Punjab and Haryana High Court -- something that the Opposition Congress termed as being a 'shameful' act.

It must however be mentioned that the recommendation for the same had been made by the Supreme Court Consortium in a February 12 meeting.

Mander's plea had also sought an independent judicial inquiry into the issue as well as adequate compensation for those who has been killed in the violence.

He also sought directions for the constitution of an SIT that would comprise of officers from outside Delhi. Furthermore, Mander had demanded that the Centre be directed to request Army involvement in maintaining law and order in the national capital.

The Delhi violence has so far taken the lives of 34 people and has left over 200 injured. 106 people have so far been arrested, the Delhi Police said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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