There are Laws to Deal With It: SC

The Economic Times - - Front Page -

The Supreme Court on Thurs­day re­fused to grap­ple with the po­lit­i­cally-con­tentious is­sue of di­vi­sive speeches de­liv­ered in the heat and dust of poll sea­son, say­ing there were enough laws to deal with them.

A two-judge bench, com­pris­ing Jus­tices Di­pak Misra and NV Ra­mana, re­jected a PIL which had been filed by a Varanasi res­i­dent urg­ing the court to di­rect the Elec­tion Com­mis­sion to with­draw recog­ni­tion to po­lit­i­cal par­ties in­dulging in such acts.

Za­far Imam Naqvi, a lawyer, had sought court in­ter­ven­tion to pro­tect poll of­fi­cials and the elec­torate from the fall-out of such speeches and also can­cel­la­tion of can­di­da­ture of lead­ers in­dulging in such be­hav­ior.

BJP PM can­di­date Naren­dra Modi is pit­ted against the AAP’s Arvind Ke­jri­wal in this high-volt­age con­test.

The pe­ti­tion drew the court’s at­ten­tion to sev­eral speeches made dur­ing the re­cent elec­tion cam­paign by lead­ers of cer­tain po­lit­i­cal par­ties and its ad­verse ef­fects on so­cial har­mony. It had ar­gued that such hate speeches were to­tal-


ly un­war­ranted and could en­dan­ger the safety and se­cu­rity of pub­lic and un­der­mine the struc­ture of our demo­cratic body polity. Naqvi, who ar­gued his own case, claimed that the court had a con­sti­tu­tional duty to step in and di­rect the EC to take ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tion when such speeches by lead­ers dis­turb the equi­lib­rium of so­ci­ety and threaten a crack in the multi-faceted fab­ric of so­ci­ety. He also urged the court to di­rect the EC to can­cel the recog­ni­tion granted to such po­lit­i­cal par­ties and also to pro­tect the lib­erty and safety of the cit­i­zens. But the bench re­jected his plea. Jus­tice Misra writ­ing the judge­ment said that the court would only step in, in a to­tal vac­uum i.e. a com­plete ab­sence of any law to en­force rights.

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