The Delhi Police was questioned by the Supreme Court on Friday, regarding its progress and updates in the investigation of the Hate Speech case over the Hindu Yuva Vahini event organized under the leadership of Sudarshan News TV Editor Suresh Chavhanke in Delhi in December 2021.
It was noted that the FIR was filed five months post the incident and no chargesheet has been filed yet. Steps were taken by the division bench comprising of Chief Justice of India, D Y Chandrachud, and Justice P S Narsimha to direct the investigating officer for the placing of on recording the matter within a period of two weeks. The bench heard the contempt petition filed by the activist Tushar Gandhi alleging that the Delhi Police have violated the directions issued in the Tehseen Poonawalla case.
CJI Chandrachud asked Additional Solicitor General KM Natural, who was representing the Delhi Police that, “What are you doing in terms of the investigation? The incident takes place on the 19th of December 2021. The FIR is registered 5 months later in May 2021. Why do you require 5 months to register an FIR?”
The ASG replied that the delay was not deliberate and stated that the police were doing the verification process.
“After the 4th of May, it has been 8 months after that. What progress has been made?” If you register an FIR 5 months later, and 8 months after that there is no substantial progress…you tell us…” said the CJI, taking this matter into consideration. Post this, the ASG agreed to file a statement after taking instructions.
It was submitted by Advocate Shadan Farasat that ‘It is a very serious matter.’ Statements against the Muslim Community were allegedly made after which Advocate Shadan Farasat requested the bench to read the transcripts of the speeches made at the event. “FIR was not registered for five months, even during the counter filed now, they say the investigation is underway. They don’t indicate if they have called anyone for interrogation under Section 41A. They have not arrested anyone, no chargesheet has been filed yet,” Farhasat pointed out and contended while expressing that he is not pressing for contempt against the Delhi Police Commissioner and was only seeking a proper investigation.
It may be recalled that the action taken by the Delhi Police initially was that the speeches made during the Hindu Yuva Vahini event did not amount to any offense. This reaction was probably the reason for a late registered FIR, which resulted in contentions stated by the petitioner, along with the hurt sentiments of the people. As a response to another petition seeking action against the hate speech crimes, the Delhi Police stated in an affidavit that “no hate speech was given against any community at the event”.
The Supreme Court however took cognizance of this matter stating dissatisfaction towards the action taken by the Delhi Police and called for a “better affidavit” instead, to be filed by a senior officer.
Firstly, in a democratic country like India, during the legal proceeding of any matter, it is important for the executive domain of the government to know the seriousness of the matter and act accordingly. Registering FIR should have been the very first prominent action that could have been taken by the Delhi police, and they failed to do so, failing to act upon the hurt sentiments of the people filing the petition, regarding the hate speech. Be it any matter, we need the authorities to fulfill the need for justice, as it is one of the reasons that they are assigned to this duty.
Following the sayings of the Supreme Court, later, the Delhi Police registered the FIR in May 2022.