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Delhi Riots: High Court Refuses To Entertain Application Challenging Maintainability Of Plea To Investigate Politicians For Alleged Hate Speech

By Vaibhav Gattani      25 February, 2022 02:49 AM      0 Comments
Delhi Riots High Court Refuses Investigate Politicians Hate Speech

The Delhi High Court on Thursday refused to entertain a plea challenging the maintainability of Public Interest Litigations (PILs) presently being examined by the Court in connection with Northeast Delhi violence and alleged hate speeches of political leaders.

The division bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani on Thursday while hearing the matter said, "This application is completely unnecessary and we do not agree to hear the intervention application and also refused to keep it pending for future."

The Court also adjourned the hearing for February 28 after taking note that the applications to implead the concerned persons, filed by senior lawyers Colin Gansolves and Sonia Mathur are not on record.

Earlier, senior Advocate Colin Gansolvis appeared for a petitioner, said that he agrees to implead some leaders against whom his petitions are seeking action. On the other hand, senior Advocate Sonia Mathur appeared for a petitioner said that she will also implead some political leaders.

The bench is presently examining a batch of petitions connecting with the 2020 violence in northeast Delhi and alleged hate speeches by political leaders which led to violence in the backdrop of protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. The court examined several petitions including petitions which alleged that the speeches of political leaders including Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Anurag Thakur, Kapil Mishra, Pravesh Verma, and others were "hate speeches".

Petitions sought necessary action against political leaders if it is found their speech had any nexus with the violence.

One of the petitioners, Ajay Gautam appeared in person on the last date of the hearing submitted that Delhi riots had not taken place over the night so national security issues were involved in the matter. His petition has urged the court to direct the Centre to order the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to find out the "anti-national forces" behind the agitations and to probe the role of People's Front of India (PFI) which is alleged, "funding, motivating and supporting the protests".

Apart from seeking action against those who allegedly gave the hate speeches, some pleas have also sought other reliefs, which included setting up of an SIT, FIRs against police officers who were allegedly involved in the violence, and disclosure of persons arrested and detained.

In its response to these prayers, police earlier had said it had created three special investigation teams (SIT) under the crime branch and there was no evidence till now that its officers were involved in the violence.

Delhi Police in its fresh status report in Delhi High Court with regards to all 758 FIRs in connection with North East Delhi Violence, along with the detail of present stages before the trial court, following court direction passed of the last date of hearing. The status report stated that out of 758 cases registered, 695 cases are being investigated by North-East District police. Total 62 cases that pertained to major incidents like murders etc were transferred to the Crime Branch, where 3 dedicated 'Special Investigating Teams' investigated these cases under continuous monitoring of superior officers. One case pertaining to the larger conspiracy behind the engineering of the communal riots in Delhi is being investigated by the Special Cell.

Delhi Police also submitted that the FIRs arising out of or registered in connection with the riots which took place in North-East District in February-March 2020, have been or are being investigated promptly, diligently, and in accordance with law by the Delhi Police, which is now under trial in courts.

It was also submitted that the investigations carried out by the state police are credible, fair, honest, impartial, and complete in all aspects. Status report of Delhi Police further submitted that apart from bald, fanciful, and uncorroborated assertions and allegations made in the present batch of petitions, which are motivated and made for reasons extraneous to the process contemplated under CrPC, there exists not even an iota of substance in the present petitions, which are required to be dismissed only on the ground that the investigations and the process of law in connection with the aforesaid FIRs are at an advanced stage and no ground/ circumstances for transferring of the case to a new SIT exists.

Around 53 people lost their lives in the violence that erupted in northeast Delhi after clashes between two opposing factions over the Citizenship Amendment Act

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