SC discharges Uttarakhand govt, DGP from list of parties in contempt plea, Legal News, ET LegalWorld – Legal Firms


New Delhi, The Supreme Court on Friday discharged the Uttarakhand government and the police chief from a list of parties in a contempt plea filed by activist Tushar Gandhi pertaining to alleged inaction in cases of hate speeches made at religious assemblies in Haridwar in the state and the national capital last year. A bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice Hima Kohli took note of the submissions of the Uttarakhand government that a plea related to the hate speeches made at Haridwar is pending before another bench and hence it cannot be continued here.

“The state of Uttarakhand and the Director General of Police of the state are accordingly discharged,” the bench said.

It, however, asked the Delhi Police to file its response on action taken in the hate speeches made here within two weeks.

At the outset, Deputy Advocate General for Uttarakhand, Jatinder Kumar Sethi, informed the bench that two other benches presided over by justices K M Joseph and Ajay Rastogi are also dealing with similar issues and the present PIL of Gandhi be also sent to one of the benches.

Sethi said the state police had not only filed five FIRs in the hate speech related cases but had also filed charge sheet against the accused who were now facing trial.

He said the Uttarakhand Police had filed a detailed status report in matters pending before another bench and that court was satisfied with its action, but Gandhi had now filed contempt petition before this court without referring to that matter.

The CJI-led bench noted the submissions and discharged the state and its police chief from the list of parties of the contempt plea.

The top court was hearing the contempt petition alleging inaction by Uttarakhand and the Delhi Police in alleged hate speech cases.

The contempt petition was filed seeking punishment for the police chief of Delhi and Uttarakhand for their alleged inaction in the cases in violation of the apex court judgment in the Tehseen Poonawala case.

The top court had laid down guidelines as to what action needed to be taken in hate crimes including mob lynching.

Earlier, the top court had sought responses from the Uttarakhand and Delhi governments on what action police have taken against those who made hate speeches at Dharam Sansads held in the state and the national capital last year.

The bench had passed the order while hearing a plea of Gandhi.

In his petition, the activist sought contempt action against senior police officials for not taking any steps in the issue, according to the guidelines laid down to curb hate speeches and lynching.

The bench had said that at this stage it is not issuing notice on the contempt plea but is only seeking responses from Uttarakhand and Delhi on as to what action has been taken with regard to the hate speeches made at the dharam sansads.

Both Uttarakhand and Delhi will file affidavits and explain the factual position and action taken, it had said.

Farasat had submitted that Gandhi had sought contempt action against the police officials for not taking any action after the incidents of hate speeches.

The plea said that immediately after the events took place, the speeches were made available and were in public domain but still the Uttarakhand Police and the Delhi Police did not act against the perpetrators.

Hate speeches were made in the dharam sansad held in Haridwar from December 17 to 19 last year and in Delhi on December 19 last year, the petition alleged. PTI SJK ZMN


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