The Delhi High Court on February 26th, 2020 ordered registration of FIRs against those who allegedly making inflammatory speeches, in the wake of the death of several people and injuries to several others in the large scale in North East Delhi.
A bench of Justices S Muralidhar and Anup Jairam Bhambhani said as a constitutional court, it cannot remain mute to what is happening around.
“We cannot allow another 1984,” the bench said, as it asked the Union government’s law officer as to how many lives have to be lost and how many homes have to be burnt down for the police to register a case.
The court directed for lodging of cases against others too for making hate speeches, as per the Supreme Court’s Constitution bench judgement in Lalitha Kumari case.
The court sought a report from Delhi police commissioner in the matter on February 27th, 2020. The court also played out a video of BJP leader Kapil Mishra’s speech where he issued warning to end the CAA protest.
Justice Muralidhar was critical of the Delhi Police’s role in containing violence. The bench questioned why the Delhi Police did it not show alacrity when it came to the alleged hate speeches by the three BJP leaders – Anurag Thakur, Parvesh Verma and Mishra.
It passed its order as a plea was made by senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, on behalf of activist Harsh Mander, claiming high functionaries of the government, including Thakur, made speeches for shooting down the traitors but no action was taken by the police.
The High Court also passed directions to Union and Delhi governments for taking a series of confidence-building measures in the affected areas.
Interestingly, the President ordered the transfer of Justice Muralidhar on February 26th, 2020 to the Punjab and Haryana High Court, days after the Supreme Court collegium made the recommendation.
A notification issued by the Ministry of Law and Justice states that the President took the decision after consulting the Chief Justice of India.