Mira Road Violence: Bombay HC Asks State Advocate General To Go Through Alleged Hate Speeches Of BJP MLAs

Mira Road Violence: Bombay HC Asks State Advocate General To Go Through Alleged Hate Speeches Of BJP MLAs

The court referred to another case where it had granted permission to hold a rally on giving an undertaking to ensure that no law and order situation will take place

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Monday, April 15, 2024, 06:40 PM IST
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Bombay High Court | File pic

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Monday asked the State Advocate General Birendra Saraf to go through the alleged hate speeches delivered by MLA Nitish Rane, MLA Geeta Jain, and Legislator T Raja during the violence at Mira Road in January and determine whether action needs to be taken against them. A bench of Justices Revati Mohite-Dere and Manjusha Deshpande has last week directed the police commissioners of Mumbai and Mira Bhayandar to personally review the recordings and transcripts of the alleged hate speeches and inform the court if an FIR will be registered by the Police itself. 

During the hearing on Monday, the bench said that this needs to be looked into. It said that the court cannot stop public rallies but expected the police to take appropriate action to ensure that there is no breach of law. But if there is a breach of law, it has to be looked into, said the bench. The judges hinted that in such cases the offence has to be registered against those delivering the speeches and not just against the organisers of the rallies. 

“Not like in the present case where FIR is against the organisers... It has to be against the one making speeches and it has to reach the logical end,” Justice Dere said. 

Court referred to other cases

The court referred to another case where it had granted permission to hold a rally on giving an undertaking to ensure that no law and order situation will take place. “Still an FIR has been registered. We cannot stop public rallies, but if they (police) see breach, then action has to be taken,” Justice Dere said.  The HC was hearing a petition by Aftab Siddiqui, Ashfak Shaikh, Asgar Raeen, Ismail Khan and Sajjad Khatib seeking action against Rane, Jain and Raja. Their plea 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. They were represented by advocates Gayatri Singh, Vijay Hiremath and Hamza Lakdawala. 

When advocate for one of the petitioners pointed out that permission has been granted for holding a rally at Malvani on April 17 for Ram Navmi, the bench asked the police to check the route of the rallies and ensure it does not create law and order situation. The bench then asked Saraf to look at the speeches along with the police commissioners. Saraf assured the court that the directions have been given to the highest officers and they will exercise their duties responsibly.The HC has kept the matter for hearing on April 23. 

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