[dropcap]T[/dropcap]HE Delhi High Court today directed the Delhi Police to take a decision on the registration of the First Information Reports (FIRs) against Bhartiya Janta Party leaders Kapil Mishra, Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Sahib Singh for their alleged inflammatory speeches.
A two-judge bench of Justice S Muralidhar and Talwant Singh also asked the Delhi Police Commissioner to consider not only the allegedly inflammatory video clips of the three political leaders but also take note of the similar clips.
The court was hearing a petition filed by social activist Harsh Mander. The matter will be taken up again tomorrow. Earlier today, the court issued a notice to the Commissioner of Delhi Police.
In his petition, Harsh Mander has sought constitution of Special Investigation Team (SIT) to inquire into the ongoing violence in North-East part of Delhi, preservation of the CCTV footage, family access to the detained persons, compensation to the victims, safety and protection of all the protests sites, and registration of FIR against leaders inciting violence through hate speech among other things.
Appearing for the Police Commissioner, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted before the court that the nature of prayers in the petition was not urgent in nature. He stated “the prayer came after 20 days of the statement. Let us not make it unpleasant”.
To which Justice Muralidhar stated, “the situation out there is unpleasant”.
“I amazed at the state of affairs of Delhi Police”, Justice Muralidhar remarked on the statement of the Delhi Police Officer present in the court that he had not seen the video clip of Kapil Mishra.
Solicitor General Mehta also submitted before the court that the question of registration of FIR and when to register is very crucial and that the police would take a call at an appropriate stage.
Advocate Rahul Mehra, the standing counsel of Delhi Government, objecting to the statement made by Solicitor General Mehta submitted that “This cannot be the stand of the Delhi Police because it has to come through me. I have to go through the status report and satisfy my conscience”.
“I don’t see why an FIR should not be registered. A cognizable offence is a writ large in these video clips. If there is not evidence, Delhi Police can file a cancellation report later”, Advocate Mehra added.
Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, who was appearing for Harsh Mander, opposing the submission made by Solicitor General Mehta argued that “It is shocking to hear the other side say that we should wait. It is a case of immediate arrest of those persons…. the slogans created a fear in the hearts of the people….some took out a procession as a direct follow up of the slogans raised by Anurag Thakur”.
Following this, Justice Muralidhar ordered to play video clips of political leaders making the alleged hate speeches.
Subsequently, Solicitor General Mehta submitted before the court that things were being sensationalised, and stated that “We urge you to not take action under extraordinary powers based upon the selective selection of clips. There are hate speeches from every quarter”.
To which the court asked the Solicitor General Mehta with concern that “You are saying that the Police not only failed to take action in these three clips but many more clips?”
The court critically stated and asked the Solicitor General Mehta “Why are you not showing alacrity when it comes to registration of FIR in these cases … We want peace to prevail. This city has seen enough violence. Let is not repeat 1984”.
Before dictating the order, the court stated, “the city is burning”.
To which Solicitor General Mehta, asserted again “the city is not burning, it’s only a few areas”