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Hate speech case: SC asks Delhi police to inform on preventive steps [Read Order]

By LawStreet News Network      30 January, 2023 09:42 PM      0 Comments
Hate speech case: SC asks Delhi police to inform on preventive steps

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday told the Delhi police to inform of preventive steps taken against the accused in a case of hate speech made during a religious congregation in December, 2021.

A bench of Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices P S Narasimha and J B Pardiwala gave three weeks time to the police for the purpose.

Additional Solicitor General K M Nataraj, appearing for the Delhi police told the court that the charge sheet in the matter was about to be filed in the court.

Advocate Sadan Farasat, appearing for petitioner Tushar Gandhi, contended the Delhi police should expedite examination of voice sample of Sudarshan News Chairman cum Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief Suresh Chavhanke from March 17. He also said the persons identified as accused should not be allowed to participate in such events in future.

The police had earlier told the court that its investigation into the case has been going on "fairly and without any bias".

In an affidavit, a senior officer informed that the police have already examined Chavhanke on November 1, 2022. He has been bound down under Section 41 A CrPC.

It also said the Forensic Science Laboratory, Delhi has fixed March 17, 2023 as the date for taking voice specimen of Chavhanke to compare it with the downloaded video from YouTube.

"A draft 'Final Report' has been prepared and was sent to prosecution branch for scrutiny. However, some points have been raised by the Public Prosecutor and investigation on those points is being conducted," it said.

The police also named several persons, including organisers, who have been questioned in the case.

A bench led by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud is scheduled to take up the matter on Monday, January 30.

Acting on a contempt petition filed by Tushar Gandhi, the court had January 13 asked the Delhi Police's Investigating Officer to place on record steps taken to pursue the investigation with regard to the incident of December 19, 2021.

The petitioner claimed the police had failed to act as per the directions issued by the top court in Tehseen Poonawalla case of 2018, with regard to mob lynching. He said the FIR was lodged on May 4, 2022, nearly five months after the incident.

The petitioner's counsel that his client was not interested in contempt proceedings against Delhi police Commissioner but wants action to protect secular fabric of the country.

In reply, the police said it had examined Sachin Vashisht, general secretary of Hindu Yavavahini who organised the event at Banarsidas Chandiwala Auditorium at Okhla.

It said the police also examined Vikram Bidhuri, Delhi BJP spokesperson, Rajiv Kumar, Delhi Pradesh president of Hindu Yavavahini, who booked the auditorium, Shiv Kumar Das, general secretary of Hindu Yavavahini who participated in the meeting and Ashutosh Sharma who attended the meeting and uploaded the video on YouTube in the channel named as 'Hishant Media', besides several others.

The police also said a request was sent to Google Inc to trace the login-logout IP addresses of the video on YouTube from where the alleged video was uploaded.

However, "a reply dated 18.11.2022 was received on email from Google, LLC, Legal Investigations Support, informing that no records from the Google account holders, specified in the request, have been found," it said.

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