Friday, June 14, 2024

Cong to EC: Act against Shah, Nadda, Yogi for ‘hate speeches’ in Karnataka

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The Congress on Tuesday accused Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP chief J P Nadda and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath of making “hate speeches” in poll-bound Karnataka and urged the Election Commission to take immediate action against them in the wake of Supreme Court orders on such speeches.

A delegation of Congress leaders comprising Ajay Maken, Vivek Tankha, Salman Khurshid and Pawan Khera met the Election Commission and gave them a memorandum demanding immediate action against such “hate speeches”.

“The home minister says such things which polarise the country and create division in society…, neither the Constitution provides for such a thing nor does the oath they take while assuming the high office. We have pointed this out to the Election Commission,” Tankha told reporters after the meeting.

He asked what the home minister meant by saying that “there would be riots in India if the Congress comes to power”.

“Does he mean to say that the Congress is getting the riots done…The real thing is that people holding constitutional positions should not make such kind of hate speeches. It is against the law and immediate action should be taken against them as per Supreme Court orders,” he said.

Tankha said the Congress delegation gave the EC copies of the Supreme Court order on hate speeches and called for immediate action as per the law of the land and the SC verdict.

“We have made representations specifically against three people – Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP president J P Nadda and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

“We have urged the Election Commission to take action as per law against these people in the wake of Supreme Court orders which has called for immediate action on hate speeches,” he said.

The three BJP leaders have been alleging that “if the Congress comes to power, there would be riots” in the state, which amounts to hate speech as such speeches lead to a division in society, the Congress leaders said.

Extending the scope of its 2022 order beyond three states, the Supreme Court had on Friday directed all states and Union territories to register cases against those making hate speeches even if no complaint has been made.

A bench of Justices K M Joseph and B V Nagarathna termed hate speeches a “serious offence capable of affecting secular fabric of the country”.

The bench said its October 21, 2022 order shall be made applicable irrespective of religion and warned any delay in registering cases will be treated as contempt of the court.

“Where have we reached in the name of religion? What have we reduced religion to is really tragic,” the apex court had then observed and directed Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Uttarakhand to crack down hard on those making hate speeches, calling them shocking for a country that is religion-neutral.

Holding that the Constitution of India envisages a secular nation, the court had directed Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Delhi to promptly register criminal cases against the offenders without waiting for a complaint to be filed.

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