Supreme Court directs all states, UTs to register suo motu FIR against hate speeches

Delhi, Apr 28: The Supreme Court on Friday extended the application of its October 2022 order (which directed the Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand Police to take suo motu action against hate speech cases) to all States and Union Territories, the Livelaw reported.

So now, all States/UTs are enjoined to take suo motu action to register FIR against hate speeches, without waiting for any formal complaint, it said.

   

The initial order passed on October 21, 2022 was only applicable to the Governments of NCT of Delhi, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh.

The action should be taken regardless of the religion of the speaker. Any hesitation to act as per the directions would be viewed as contempt of court, the court warned.

A bench comprising Justices KM Joseph and BV Nagarathna was considering a batch of petitions which sought action with respect to various instances of hate crimes across the country.The Bench recorded in the order: “Respondents shall ensure that immediately, as and when any speech or any action takes place which attracts offences such as Section 153A, 153B, 295A and 506 of IPC etc, without any complaint being filed suo motu action be taken to register cases and proceed against the offenders in accordance with law.

Respondents will issue directions to the subordinates so that appropriate action can be taken at the earliest.

We further make it clear that such action be taken irrespective of the religion of the maker of the speech, so that the secular character of Bharat as envisaged by the Preamble is preserved.”

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