SC to hear on Nov 22 plea seeking direction to Centre to take steps to deal with hate speech


On Friday, the Supreme Court said it would hear a November 22 request for the Center to examine various international laws and take appropriate “effective and rigorous” measures to combat incitement to hatred and rumors in the country.

Collegium of judges A.M. Hanvilkar and K.T. Ravikumar asked senior attorney Vikas Singh, who represented the petitioner, to serve a copy of the petition to the ministries of the interior, law and justice and the Legal Commission, which were lined up as defendants. in the petition.

The higher court considered the petition filed by the lawyer and Bjp Leader Ashwini Upadhyai, ​​in his personal capacity, through attorney Ashwani Dubey, who also asked the Center to take legislative action to implement the recommendations of the Legal Commission to Combat Threats of Hate and Rumors.

The higher court announced that the case will be considered on November 22, when a separate application will also be considered, which was also submitted for consideration during the day.

“Applicant is filing this judicial petition as PIL… requests order / order / direction to the Center to study international laws regarding ‘hate speech’ and ‘spreading rumors’ and to take appropriate and effective strong measures to control’ hate speech ‘and’ Dissemination rumors “to ensure the rule of law, freedom of speech and expression and the right to life, freedom and dignity of citizens,” Upadhyay said in his address.

The petition also contained an indication that the courts, when imposing punishment for crimes against “public peace, crimes related to elections, etc.”, must issue sentences that are executed sequentially, and not simultaneously.

He called on the government to take appropriate steps to implement the recommendations of the Legal Commission’s Report No. 267 on incitement to hatred.

“The damage to citizens is enormous because ‘hate speech and rumor spread’ can provoke individuals or society to commit acts of terrorism, genocide, ethnic cleansing, etc. Hate speech is viewed outside the realm of defensive discourse,” he said.

“It is undeniable that offensive language and rumors are detrimental to people’s lives and jeopardize their health and safety. Incitement to hatred is harmful and divisive to communities and impedes social progress. If left unchecked, incitement to hatred can seriously affect not only the rule of law, but also the right to life, freedom and dignity of citizens, ”the appeal says.

In 2012, about 50,000 citizens from the northeastern states fled their places of residence across India and fled to their homelands after “spreading false images of violent incidents that did not occur in India, but in Myanmar several years ago,” the report said. …

The statement, which addressed the existing criminal provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), said that hate speech is incitement to hatred, primarily against a group of individuals defined in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs and others. factors. creates complex problems for freedom of speech and expression.

“The difference in approach is noticeable between the United States and other democracies. In the United States, he is granted constitutional protection; whereas in other Western democracies such as Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom, it is regulated and subject to sanctions under international human rights covenants. In this regard, the applicant believes that it is necessary to include new provisions in the IPC for a more detailed solution of the problems … “, – said in the message.


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