“Those In Power Must Act Responsibly”: Delhi High Court On Hate Speech

New Delhi:

The Delhi High Court turned down the plea of CPM’s Brinda Karat to allow a police case against BJP MPs Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Verma over alleged hate speech delivered in 2020 during the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act.

The court upheld the order of the trial court, which had turned down a similar appeal last year on the ground that the necessary sanction from the central government was not obtained.

The High Court, however, issued strong remarks on the subject of hate speech by political leaders.

“Hate speech is the starting point of attacks against a targeted community that range from discrimination to exclusion, deportation, and, even genocide,” the court said.

“Persons who are people’s leaders and hold high positions, they should behave with full honesty and responsibility. In a democracy like India, the elected leaders carry their responsibility not only towards the voters in their constituency, but also towards the society and nation as a whole and ultimately to the Constitution. These people are role models for the general public. Thus, it is not appropriate for leaders to engage in such acts or speeches that create rifts between communities, create tension, and affect the social fabric,” the court said.

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