New Delhi, Dec 17 (PTI) The Supreme Court on Friday requested the Delhi High Court to dispose of expeditiously, preferably within three months, a plea seeking registration of first information reports (FIR) against some politicians for their alleged hate speeches which purportedly led to the riots in north-east Delhi last year.
The plea, seeking direction to register FIRs against those who had made hate speeches that allegedly incited the public to engage in violence last year, came up for hearing before a bench of justices L.N. Rao and B.R. Gavai.
Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, appearing for three petitioners who are victims of the violence, told the bench that despite the Supreme Court’s order of March last year asking the high court to dispose of the petition as expeditiously as possible, no progress has been made in the matter. “We are not inclined to entertain this writ petition filed under Article 32 of the Constitution of India. The writ petition is dismissed,” the bench said. “Colin Gonsalves, senior counsel appearing for the petitioner, submits that no progress has been made in the writ petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India before the high court, though this court directed the high court to decide the writ petition expeditiously two years back,” the bench said in its order.
It requested the high court to dispose of the petition filed by the petitioners expeditiously, preferably within three months from today.
On March 4 last year, the Supreme Court had asked the high court to hear on March 6, 2020, a plea seeking lodging of FIRs against some BJP leaders for alleged hate speeches which purportedly led to the riots in Delhi.
It had said the high court may explore the possibility of “peaceful resolution” of the dispute.
The Supreme Court had passed the order last year while hearing a plea filed by 10 riot victims seeking registration of FIRs against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders Anurag Thakur, Kapil Mishra, Parvesh Verma and Abhay Verma and others for their alleged hate speeches.
On Friday, the Supreme Court was hearing a plea, filed through advocate Satya Mitra, seeking action against political leaders whose hate speeches allegedly resulted in the riots in Delhi.
During the hearing, Gonsalves told the bench that despite the Supreme Court order to dispose of the plea expeditiously, the matter related to the alleged hate speech has not progressed before the high court. “We are losing faith. How can anyone have faith in this system,” he said.
The plea filed in the Supreme Court also sought an independent investigation into the role of the Delhi Police in the violence.
The plea said the petitioners had earlier approached the Supreme Court, which had had on March 4 last year transferred the matter to the Delhi High Court and asked it to hear and dispose of the matter within a reasonable time.
It also sought a direction for inquiry by a retired judge into the communal attacks that took place and to identify the police personnel allegedly involved in the rioting and criminal conduct and thereafter, direct that those officers be dismissed from service in accordance with the law.
Thakur, Mishra, Parvesh Verma and Abhay Verma had allegedly made inflammatory speeches that contributed to the Delhi riots of February last year, in which over 50 people lost their lives, and several more were injured, displaced, and had their property damaged.
A division bench of the Delhi High Court, comprising of Justice Dr S. Muralidhar and Talwant Singh had, after viewing clips of the speeches in court, later pulled up the Delhi Police for its inaction in FIRs against Mishra, Thakur and Parvesh Verma for their alleged inflammatory speeches.
In another case at that time, another division bench comprising Justices Muralidhar and Anup J. Bhambhani had, at a special midnight hearing, issued a slew of directions setting up of the adequate number of shelters to provide rehabilitation to displaced victims.
The very next day, the union government had notified the transfer of Justice Muralidhar to the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The Delhi High Court Bar Association had earlier expressed its shock and condemned the transfer of Justice Muralidhar, and abstained from work for a day as a token of protest.