Written bySiddhant Pandey ·
Expressing concern over the recent incidents of violence in the national capital, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday said that they cannot allow a repeat of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.
The court also rapped the Delhi Police for not filing FIRs against politicians for making hate speeches and has directed the latter to take a call on filing FIRs by Thursday.
A Delhi HC bench comprising Justices S Muralidhar and Anup J Bhambhani was hearing activist Harsh Mander's petition seeking an independent probe into the violence.
The bench noted, "We can't let another 1984 scenario happen in this city," Live Law reported.
The 1984 incident refers to the anti-Sikh riots which followed after the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, killing over 3,000 in Delhi.
During the hearing, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta (appearing for Delhi Police) had argued that the plea seeking FIRs against politicians making hate speeches was not "urgent."
The plea had argued that hate speeches made by politicians, with slogans such as "Goli maaro saalon ko," incited violence.
Justice Muralidhar asked the SG, "Isn't lodging of FIRs against the culprits an urgent matter?"
Thereafter, the SG claimed that he had not watched the videos.
A senior officer of the Delhi Police in the courtroom told the court he had only seen videos of hate speeches involving Union Minister Anurag Thakur and BJP MP Parvesh Verma, but not the recent one including BJP leader Kapil Mishra.
The videos were then played in court for everyone to watch.
After watching Mishra's clip, the cop present in court identified the sub-inspector seen in the video. The court also observed that the officer standing beside Mishra in the video is DCP (Northeast) Ved Prakash Surya.
SG Mehta then argued that the videos played in court were selectively highlighted, advising the court against exercising its extraordinary jurisdiction based on them.
The SG said, "If I start playing the clips that I have like they've made, they'll be an inflammatory situation."
However, the argument backfired, as Justice Muralidhar asked why there weren't any FIRs against those videos.
Responding to the HC's concerns, the SG said the FIRs will be filed at an appropriate time. To this, the judge asked, "What's the appropriate time, Mr. Mehta? The city is burning."
The judge asked the cop in court, "When the SG himself is saying that these videos are inflammatory, why aren't you registering the FIRs? The entire nation is asking that question."
The court further told the police, "Just register FIRs. You showed alacrity in lodging FIRs for arson, why aren't you showing the same for registering FIR for these speeches?"
Taking cognizance of the videos of hate speeches of four politicians—Thakur, Verma, Mishra, and BJP MLA Abhay Verma—the court directed the police to take a "conscious decision" on registering FIRs by tomorrow.
Separately, the HC has directed Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia to visit violence-hit areas for "confidence-building measures."
The court has also urged setting up helplines to extend immediate help to victims, and private ambulances to be provided for safe passage of victims.
The court directed setting up of rehabilitation shelters with basic facilities for victims.
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