India’s Supreme Court urged to set up panel to monitor hate speeches

NEW DELHI: A host of eminent citizens, including jurists, police officers, scientists and businessmen, have appealed to the Chief Justice of India and other judges of the Supreme Court to take sou motu action over “alarming and threatening” statements made by ministers and elected representatives, including the alleged ‘hate’ speech by junior HRD minister Ram Shankar Katheria.

The signatories to the letter, submitted to the Supreme Court on Friday, include former SC judge Justice P B Sawant, former Punjab top cop Julio Ribeiro.

It said the country was being pushed to the brink by such statements and urged the apex court to set up a permanent and sitting commission to monitor and oversee videos, records and documents related to such speeches to prevent “hate-driven” attacks on marginalised sections.

The letter states these statements have caused “fear and insecurity among citizens, marginalised sections, especially minorities, Dalits and Adivasis”.

Referring to the Agra incident, it said, “The minister, MP, MLA and all other culprits need to be punished for violating their Constitutional duty under Article 51 (to promote harmony and spirit of common brotherhood).”

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At a condolence meeting for a slain VHP member in Agra, Katheria was alleged to have made a series of objectionable remarks against Muslims. Other references included MoS for external affairs Gen V K Singh, Sadhvi Niranjan and BJP MPs Yogi Adityanath and Sakshi Maharaj.

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