'Why 5 months' to file FIR', SC seeks report from Delhi Police in hate speeches case

by IANS |

New Delhi, Jan 13 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Friday sought a report from the police in connection with the progress on investigation into the cases of hate speeches made at religious assemblies in the national capital in 2021.

A bench headed by Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud noted that there was no palpable progress made in the investigation in the case.

The bench, also comprising Justice P.S. Narasimha, noted that the incident occurred in December 2021, and the FIR in the matter was lodged in May 2022. The bench told Additional Solicitor General (ASG) K.M. Nataraj, representing Delhi Police, said, "Why do you need five months for lodging an FIR..." It further queried, "How many arrests have been made?"

The ASG submitted that the delay was not deliberate and the process of verification is going on. The bench further queried, what steps have been after registration of the FIR and how many people have been examined?

Citing that FIR was registered in May 2022, the bench said it has been eight months and pointed out that FIR was registered after months of the occurrence of the incident and eight months after that no substantial progress has been made.

The top court asked the ASG to file an affidavit within two weeks, where the Delhi Police would have to give details on the progress made so far in the investigation of the case.

The top court was hearing a contempt petition filed by activist Tushar Gandhi alleging inaction by the Delhi Police and Uttarakhand government in alleged hate speech cases. The plea sought action against the police chief of Delhi and Uttarakhand for their alleged inaction in the cases in violation of the apex court judgment in the Tehseen Poonawala case.

The top court, in November last year, discharged the Uttarakhand government and the police chief from a list of parties in the contempt plea.

In the judgment, the apex court had laid down guidelines in connection with action needed to be taken in hate crimes, including mob lynching.

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