Delhi HC reserves verdict in hate speech case against Anurag Thakur, said this

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has reserved its verdict on a petition related to the Delhi riots by Left leaders Brinda Karat and KM Tiwari. The trial court had refused to order registration of an FIR against Union Minister Anurag Thakur and West Delhi MP Pravesh Sahib Singh Verma on charges of "hate speech." Both the CPM leaders had approached the Delhi High Court against it. The case pertains to the anti-Hindu riots that took place in North-East Delhi in February 2020.

Hearing the petition, the Delhi High Court said the kind of speeches made during elections is different from those given in normal circumstances. The court said that sometimes certain things are done to create an atmosphere where it has no other motive. Justice Chandradhari Singh heard the petition. Justice Singh said that when something is said with a smile, there is no criminality in it, but if something is said in an objectionable manner, there can be criminality in it. The court asked where is there any "communal intent" in the said speech?  The court asked whether it was an election speech or a statement made in normal times. The High Court said that if such speeches are made in normal times, it means an intention to provoke. Citing democracy, the Delhi High Court said people have the right to make statements.

In fact, it is alleged that in union minister Anurag Thakur's rally, slogans of 'Desh Ke Gaddaron Ko, Goli Maro Saalon Ko' were raised. The petition had alleged that the rally pointed to the forcible removal of women sitting on a protest at Shaheen Bagh at that time and also an attempt was made to spread hatred against Muslims by showing them as murderers and rapists. On January 29, the Election Commission had also issued a 'show cause notice' to Anurag Thakur in this regard. The High Court asked whether the speech was made near the site of the protesters. The High Court said that 'these people' does not mean any particular community here and in what form will you take it? The high court questioned whether people from the same community were protesting in Delhi then. If so, did that demonstration have the support of just one community?

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