On hate speech, Supreme Court’s advice to politicians: Stop using religion

The top court had made the observation while hearing a contempt petition against various state authorities for failing to register FIRs against those making hate speeches.

Supreme Court
Supreme Court. (File Image)

The Supreme Court on Wednesday took strong exception to fringe elements making hate speeches, and said that the moment politicians stop using religion, such speeches will stop, reported The Indian Express.

The top court made the observation while hearing a contempt petition against various state authorities for failing to register FIRs against those making hate speeches.

“The moment politics and religion are segregated, this will end. When politicians stop using religion, all this will stop,” the bench comprising Justices KM Joseph and BV Nagarathna stated.

“Every day, fringe elements are making speeches including on TV and public forum to vilify others. Why cannot people of India take a pledge to not vilify other citizens or communities,” observed Justice KM Joseph, who was heading the bench.

The bench also referred to speeches of former Prime Ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, saying people from remote areas and nook and corner used to gather to hear them.

“Now fringe elements from all sides making the statements,” Justice Nagarathna lamented, as quoted by Bar and Bench.

Justice Joseph further said that fringe elements make statements that harm the dignity of individuals.

They are saying things which are denigrating and most important thing is dignity which is demolished on a regular basis by statements like ‘go to Pakistan’. They chose this country. They are like your brothers and sisters. Remember our school oath. We are from the old generation. This cannot be allowed to go to that level,” Justice Joseph said.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, meanwhile, pointed out a derogatory speech made in Kerala by a man against a particular community and questioned that petitioner Shaheen Abdullah has selectively pointed out the incidents of hate speeches in the country.

The bench posted the matter for April 28.

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First published on: 29-03-2023 at 17:21 IST
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