The Supreme Court (SC) of India has observed that a plea on hate speeches against minorities in the country perhaps may be right in saying the entire atmosphere is getting sullied due to this type of public discourse and needs to be curbed.
In a separate case, the top court also sought responses from the Uttarakhand and Delhi governments on what action police have taken against those who made hate speeches at Dharam Sansads held in the state and the national capital (New Delhi) last year.
The court's remarks and directives came on Monday when the Delhi police said it has filed an FIR against the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) and other organisers of an event in Delhi, where certain speakers allegedly delivered hate speeches, according to local media reports.
A bench of chief justice UU Lalit and justice SR Bhat asked petitioner H Mansukhani to give details of particular instances of hate speeches including about the steps undertaken during the course of the investigation.
"This kind of a petition, though as a citizen, perhaps you may be right in saying that the entire atmosphere is getting sullied as a result of these hate speeches and perhaps you have every justifiable ground to say that this needs to be curbed," it observed.
The bench, however, said for a court to take cognisance of a matter, there must be a factual background, and observed that the petitioner may concentrate on one or two instances.
"This is too random a petition, saying there are 58 instances where someone made a hate speech," it said.
"We do not even know what are the details of the particular crime, what is the status, what is the stage, who are the persons involved, whether any crimes are registered or not registered," it added.
The bench granted time to the petitioner to submit an additional affidavit concentrating on certain incidents and giving details of the crime in question, including about the steps undertaken during the course of the investigation, if any.
The petitioner may also give details as to whether the crimes were registered and who are supposed to be the culprits.
It said the affidavit be filed by 31 October and posted the matter on 1 November.
During the hearing, the petitioner raised the issue of hate crime and hate speeches to target minority communities.
She also alleged that hate speeches are a "profitable business" these days.
The petitioner, who referred to the Bollywood film, "The Kashmir Files", submitted that a hate speech is like an arrow that never turns back.