New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday sought response from the Centre on a plea seeking framing of guidelines for restricting hate speeches by politicians and leaders of social and religious organisations. A bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir also issued notices to the Governments of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh which, in the recent times, witnessed incidents of alleged speeches.
The PIL submitted that speeches targeting religion, region, caste or place of birth were against the provisions of the Constitution. The bench has also sought response from the Election Commission on the issue.
The PIL filed by an NGO Pravasi Bhalai Sanghatan said there was a need for guidelines as hate speeches destroy the fabric of democracy and violate the provisions of the Constitution. The PIL has named Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh as respondents as the two states witnessed incidents of alleged hate speeches.
It referred to the alleged hate speeches made by Maharashtra Navnirman Sena Chief Raj Thackeray and claimed that no FIR was registered about them in the state. The PIL also said that in Andhra Pradesh, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen leader Akbaruddin Owaisi had allegedly made hate speeches and was arrested for them. But after being released on bail, he had again made similar speeches in Nanded, Maharashtra, it alleged.