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'Contempt will be initiated if the authorities fail to act': Supreme Court tells Centre on hate speeches
Hate speech

'Contempt will be initiated if the authorities fail to act': Supreme Court tells Centre on hate speeches

| @indiablooms | 21 Oct 2022, 08:26 pm

New Delhi/IBNS: Two days after United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres criticised India over its human rights record and the increasing hate speeches during a three-day visit, the Supreme Court Friday made some strong observations on the subject.

"This is the 21st century. Where have we reached in the name of religion?" the apex court said while hearing a petition on hate speeches.

It directed authorities to act against such instances by themselves or face contempt charges.

"Contempt will be initiated if the authorities fail to act," the court said.

The state of affairs in India was "shocking for a country that is supposed to be religion-neutral", the top court observed.

"The Constitution of India envisages a secular nation and fraternity among citizens assuring the dignity of the individual...The unity and integrity of the nation is one of the guiding principles enshrined in the preamble," the judges said.

"The petitioner points out [that] despite various penal provisions, no action has been taken and there is a need to serve constitutional principles. We feel this court is charged with a duty to protect the fundamental rights and also protect and serve the constitution where the rule of law is maintained," they added.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court sought responses from the centre and the states to a petition requesting an urgent intervention to stop the "growing menace of targeting and terrorising (of) the Muslim Community in India".

Petitioner Shaheen Abdullah had asked the apex court to direct the Centre and states to initiate credible probes into the incidents of hate crimes and hate speeches across the country.

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