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Supreme Court Declines Plea Against Mahapanchayat After Foiled 'Love Jihad' Bid

By Harshvardhan Sharma      14 June, 2023 11:54 PM      0 Comments
Supreme Court Declines Plea Against Mahapanchayat After Foiled 'Love Jihad' Bid

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday declined a plea for an urgent hearing of a petition to prevent a mahapanchayat of Hindu organisations on June 15, following communal tensions, triggered after a foiled bid of 'Love Jihad' in Uttarakhand’s Purola town.

A vacation bench of Justices Vikram Nath and Ahsanuddin Amanullah told advocate Shahrukh Alam, appearing for the Association for Protection of Civil Rights, to first approach the High Court.

The counsel cited the top court's continuing mandamus in the matter related to hated speech in which Uttarakhand was also a party.

"This is an administrative issue. Law-and-order is for the administration to handle. You move the high court first. Why should we hear it directly? The high court is there and it will consider your plea,” the bench said.

The counsel said a particular community has been given an ultimatum to leave by June 15.

The bench, however, remained disinclined, saying the petitioner should approach the local administration and the High Court.

"Why this distrust of the High Court? They also have jurisdiction. Why this short-circuiting,” the bench told the counsel.

It would be an unfair argument to make that neither the administration nor the High Court would act if a complaint was made against hate speech, the bench said.

“Why do you distrust the administration generally? How do you say they won’t act and prohibit the illegal act? Isn’t it unfair to distrust them completely? Approach the district administration and the High Court,” the bench repeated.

The counsel then preferred to withdraw the petition from the top court with the liberty to approach the suitable authorities and the Uttarakhand high court.

In the end, Alam asked the court to clarify if any untoward incident takes place at the mahapanchayat, the administration would be responsible.

“No, you move the High Court, whatever may be your relief, we don’t know," the bench told her.

On May 26, two men tried to abduct a 14-year-old girl. Residents alleged it was a case of love jihad.

The police, however, arrested accused Ubed Khan, 24, and Jitender Saini, 23, on May 27. But the local resident held protests in and attacked shops and houses of Muslim community.

Notably, dealing with a batch of petitions including a Kerala resident Shaheen Abdullah, the court had on April 28, directed police heads of states and Union territories to file suo motu cases against hate speech, as it is a serious offence affecting the social fabric of the nation.



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