The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice to the Delhi Police regarding a petition filed by CPI(M) leaders Brinda Karat and K.M. Tiwari. The petition challenges the trial court's decision not to register FIRs against Union Minister Anurag Thakur and BJP leader Pravesh Verma for their purported hate speeches during the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests at Shaheen Bagh in 2020.
The case has been scheduled after a span of three weeks for a hearing by a Bench comprising Justices K.M. Joseph and B.V. Nagarathna.
𝗚𝗼𝗹𝗶 𝗠𝗮𝗿𝗼 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗮 𝗺𝗲𝗱𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹 𝗽𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗰𝗿𝗶𝗽𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻: 𝗦𝗖
During the hearing, the court made an initial observation indicating that the lower court may have been incorrect in its conclusion that sanction under Section 196 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) was necessary before taking cognisance. The observation was made orally.
The Bench stated that the phrase "desh ke gaddaro ko goli maaro" (shoot the traitors) from one of the purported speeches was “certainly not said in terms of a medical prescription”.
𝗗𝗲𝗹𝗵𝗶 𝗛𝗖 𝗵𝗮𝗱 𝗿𝗲𝗳𝘂𝘀𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗿𝗶𝗮𝗹 𝗰𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘁 𝗱𝗲𝗰𝗶𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻
In June of last year, the Delhi High Court declined to overturn the trial court's decision to not order the registration of a First Information Report (FIR) against Thakur and Verma for their alleged hate speeches.
The High Court declined to interfere with the trial court's decision and stated that according to the law, the competent authority must grant the required sanction for the registration of FIR in the present circumstances. The High Court observed that the Delhi Police had conducted a preliminary inquiry and informed the trial court that there was no apparent cognizable offense. The trial court required a valid sanction to take cognizance of the facts and evidence before initiating an investigation, which was not permissible without one.
𝗣𝗲𝘁𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗲𝗿𝘀 𝘀𝗲𝗲𝗸 𝗙𝗜𝗥 𝗮𝗴𝗮𝗶𝗻𝘀𝘁 𝗧𝗵𝗮𝗸𝘂𝗿 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗶𝗻𝗰𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘀𝗹𝗼𝗴𝗮𝗻𝘀
The petitioners had claimed that Thakur had encouraged the crowd to chant an incendiary slogan during a rally on January 27, 2020, after denouncing anti-CAA protesters. The Delhi Police had defended the trial court's ruling.
Karat and Tiwari lodged a complaint requesting the filing of FIRs under several sections, including 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc.), 153-B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration) and 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of the Indian Penal Code.
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