If you ignore hate crime, then one day it will come for you: Supreme Court

If you ignore hate crime, then one day it will come for you: Supreme Court

The Bench of Justices KM Joseph and BV Nagarathna mourned the delay in registering a criminal complaint by Uttar Pradesh Police in connection with an hate crime that took place in Noida in 2021.

The bench directed the State authorities to produce copies of the complaint and also information on whether the accused are still behind bars.

The Court mentioned to the Additional Solicitor General KM Nataraj, appearing for the State, and remarked that it is the duty of a secular State to weed out such hate crimes.

The court observed that "it is said he was wearing his cap showing his religion. There is no space for hate crime on basis of religion in a secular country; it has to be rooted out and when State has the will, it has to be seen that it ends. It is the primary duty of the state. When a person is wearing the cap...there can be other crimes along with hate crime. When such crimes are not acted against then an atmosphere is fostered which is a dangerous issue and it has to be rooted out from our lives".

The Court further said "Will you not acknowledge that there is a hate crime and you will sweep it under the carpet? I am not saying anything adverse; we are only expressing our anguish. Be it in minority or majority, certain rights are there which are inherent in human beings. You are born into a family and raised in one; but we stand out as a nation. You have to take this seriously."

The court also expressed shock at some of the statements and hate speech made against minority communities during recent religious congregations.

The ASG responded by saying that "it is planning to introduce comprehensive amendments to the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) to tackle hate speech".

The Court asked the states to make their position clear on the broader issues projected in the case, and asked Amicus Curiae Senior Advocate Sanjay Hegde and Advocate Anas Tanwir to submit draft guidelines in this regard.

Senior Advocate Huzaifa Ahmadi, appearing for Sherwani, said, "Please see the attitude of the State of Uttar Pradesh. Order of this Court led to an FIR and now they say that they are yet to probe, but deny any hate crime. What investigation can we expect at all? Let me assume that there was no hate crime, but why was no FIR not lodged on the morning of 4th?"

The Bench noted that the petitioner came directly to the top court, with Justice Joseph initially remarking, "This petitioner at least has the wherewithal to approach the Supreme Court and thus we cannot say that this case is a pan-India one and it cannot be symptomatic of what is happening across India. We do not want tomorrow to flood this court."

When the Bench asked the ASG about the nature of the injuries in the case, ASG Nataraj said,

"Of course if the person resists, then it might lead to injury."

Justice Joseph then remarked,

"You are surely not arguing to protect them! Resist? Because he was wearing a skull cap? Let us not deny that there indeed exists people in this country who have communal attitude and they usually do it."

In its order in the matter, the top court stated,

"We do note with some distress that it comes late in the day since information for the FIR was furnished on July 5, 2021... We direct Uttar Pradesh to produce FIRs mentioned in the additional affidavit. Affidavit should indicate as to when persons involved in June 2021 were apprehended and when they were bailed out. Let affidavit be filed in 2 weeks from today."

The next date in the case is fixed for 3rd March 2023.

Case Details:-

W.P.(C) No. 148/2023

For Petitioner(s)
Mr. Huzaifa Ahmadi, Sr.Adv
Mr. Talha Abdul Rahman, AOR
Mr. Ashwani Kumar Dubey, AOR

For Respondent(s) 
Mr. Tushar Mehta, Solicitor General
Mr. K M Nataraj, A.S.G.
Mr. Kanu Agarwal, Adv.
Mr. Rajat Nair, Adv.
Mr. Sanjay Kumar Tyagi, Adv.
Mr. Amit Sharma, Adv.
Mr. Mayank Pandey, Adv.
Mr. Varun Chugh, Adv.
Mr. Nakul Chengappa K.K., Adv.
Mr. Arvind Kumar Sharma, AOR

Mr. K. M. Nataraj, ASG
Ms. Garima Prashad, AAG/Sr. Adv.
Ms. Ruchira Goel, AOR
Ms. Indira Bhakar, Adv.
Ms. Priyanka Swami, Adv.
Mr. Adit Jayeshbhai Shah, Adv.
Mr. Amit Sharma, AOR
Mr. Dipesh Sinha, Adv.
Ms. Pallavi Barua, Adv.
Ms. Sakshi Upadhayya, Adv.
Ms. Aparna Singh, Adv.
Mr. Shovan Mishra, AOR
Ms. Bipasa Tripathy, Adv.
Mr. Abhimanyu Tewari, AOR
Ms. Eliza Bar, Adv.
Mr. Nishe Rajen Shonker, AOR
Mrs. Anu K Joy, Adv.
Mr. Alim Anvar, Adv.
Ms. K. Enatoli Sema, AOR
Ms. Limayinla Jamir, Adv.
Mr. Amit Kumar Singh, Adv.
Ms. Chubalemla Chang, Adv.
Mr. Prang Newmai, Adv.
Mr. Upendra Pratap Singh, AOR

Amicus Curiae

Senior Advocate Sanjay Hegde
Advocate Anas Tanwir

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