Abjuring hate speech fundamental requisite for maintenance of communal harmony: SC

The Supreme Court also asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta what actions have been taken pursuant to lodging of FIRs as merely registering complaints is not going to solve the problem of hate speech.

Published - March 28, 2023 05:41 pm IST - New Delhi

File photo of Supreme Court of India

File photo of Supreme Court of India | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

The Supreme Court on March 28 observed that abjuring hate speech is a fundamental requisite for maintenance of communal harmony in the country.

A bench of Justices K.M. Joseph and B.V. Nagarathna made the observation while hearing a plea against hate speeches.

"Abjuring hate speech is fundamental requisite for maintenance of communal harmony," the bench observed orally.

The top court also asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta what actions have been taken pursuant to lodging of FIRs as merely registering complaints is not going to solve the problem of hate speech.

Mr. Mehta told the court that 18 FIRs have been lodged in relation to hate speeches. The matter was posted for hearing on Wednesday despite Mehta's and Additional Solicitor General K.M. Nataraj's objection.

Holding that the Constitution envisages India as a secular nation, the top court on October 21 last year had directed the Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand governments to come down hard on cases of hate speech, and registering criminal cases against culprits without waiting for a complaint to be filed.

It had also warned that any delay on the part of the administration in taking action on this "very serious issue" would invite the court's contempt.

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