Supreme Court Speaks Against Religion-based Hate Crimes in India, Demands Action from Authorities

Team Parvasi – Inside

The Supreme Court has said there is no scope for hate crimes based on religion in India, observing a growing concern around hate speech. This was in response to a plea of a Muslim man who was allegedly assaulted and abused in July of 2021 by a “screwdriver gang” and no police complaint was registered for the crime.

A Muslim man was pleading his case from July of 2021 when he claimed to be assaulted and abused on religious grounds by a “screwdriver gang” as he was traveling from Noida to Aligarh. He also claimed that the police did not bother to register his complaint. In its response, the Supreme Court said, “When action is not taken against hate crimes then an atmosphere is fostered which is very dangerous and it has to be rooted out from our lives. There cannot be any compromise on hate speech at all.”

The court told Additional Solicitor General (ASG) KM Nataraj that in a secular country like India, there is no scope for hate crimes in the name of religion. “It has to be rooted out and it is the primary duty of the state to protect its citizens from any such crimes. If a person comes to the police and says that I was wearing a cap and my beard was pulled and abused in the name of religion and still no complaint is registered, then it is a problem,” the court said,

Senior advocate Huzefa Ahmadi pointed out that this court had asked the state government after two years to produce the case diary that showed the police registered the FIR after two years and that too with all but one unbailable offense. He added that a special investigation team headed by an ACP-rank officer has been constituted to look at the lapse of action by the police officials. Disciplinary action has been taken against the officials involved.

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Furthermore, the ASG added that eight FIRs have been registered against the gang members and action has been taken against them.

Ahmadi emphasized that it took two years for the incident to be recognized as a hate crime as in two affidavits filed by the Uttar Pradesh government, the police said there was no hate crime. He added, “On July 5, 2021, a police patrol had come to my house and asked not to press for hate crime angle.”

The matter has been posted for further hearing on March 3 and asked the Uttar Pradesh government for a detailed affidavit.

Vineet Washington

NEWS

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