Bombay HC Asks Mumbai, Mira Bhayander Police Commissioners To Review Recordings & Inform Court If FIR Will Be Filed In Hate Speech Case

Bombay HC Asks Mumbai, Mira Bhayander Police Commissioners To Review Recordings & Inform Court If FIR Will Be Filed In Hate Speech Case

Case of alleged hate speeches delivered by MLA Nitish Rane, MLA Geeta Jain, and Legislator T Raja.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Tuesday, April 09, 2024, 09:42 AM IST
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Bombay High Court | PTI

The Bombay high court on Monday asked the police Commissioners of Mumbai and Mira Bhayandar to personally review the recordings and transcripts of the alleged hate speeches delivered by MLA Nitish Rane, MLA Geeta Jain, and Legislator T Raja and inform the court if an FIR will be registered by the Police itself. 

A division bench of  Justice Revati Mohite-Dere and Manjusha Deshpande  has also directed the police to take necessary preventive action to ensure there is no communal disharmony and law and order situation on Ram Navmi on April 17. 

The HC was hearing a petition by five residents of Mumbai and Mira Road, including Aftab Siddiqui seeking action against the MLAs for allegedly delivering hate speeches in January at Mira Road, Govandi, Ghatkopar, and Malvani. 

If timely action was not taken against those who violate the law, the citizens would lose faith in the police, the bench observed. 

Petitioners’ advocates, Gayatri Singh, Vijay Hiremath and Hamza Lakdawala, alleged that Rane was allowed to use the press room and the office of the Commissioner of Police, MBVV on January 23. 

The court expressed concerns over the allegations. 

Public Prosecutor Hiten Venegaokar, appearing for the State, opposed the plea.

The petitioners have not added any of the MLAs as respondents to the petition. 

Petitioners Aftab Siddiqui, Ashfak Shaikh, Asgar Raeen, Ismail Khan and Sajjad Khatib have referred to a Supreme Court judgment of 2022 and 2023 which directed all states and union territories to take suo motu (on its own) action against hate speeches to preserve India’s secular character. 

The petition cites instances of January 19 and 21 where Mira Road witnessed  unrests where a large mob gathered and started chanting hateful slogans. 

The plea also states instances between January and March this year where Rane, Jain and Raja addressed rallies where they made hateful speeches. The HC has kept the matter for hearing on April 15. 

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