SC TO HEAR PLEA SEEKING CENTRE TO TAKE STEPS IN CURBING HATE SPEECH

On Friday, the Supreme Court said it will hear a plea that seeks a direction to the centre to examine various international laws and take appropriate steps to control and curb hate speech and ‘rumour mongering’ in the country. The plea has sought the centre to adopt ‘effective and stringent’ methods to tackle the phenomenon. The two-member bench of Justice A M Khanwilker and C T Ravikumar asked Advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for the petitioner, to serve a copy of the plea to the central ministries of home affairs, law and justice and the Law Commission — which have been arrayed as respondents in the petition. 

 

The apex court was hearing a petition filed by BJP leader and lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay through advocate Ashwani Dubey that sought a direction to the Centre to take steps to implement recommendations of the Law Commission to deal with the menace of hate speech and rumour-mongering. “Indisputably, offensive speech and rumour- mongering have devastating effects on people’s lives and risks their health and safety. Hate speech is harmful and divisive for communities and hampers social progress. If left unchecked, hate speech can severely affect not only the rule of law but also the right to life, liberty and dignity of the citizens,” the plea said. “In 2012, around 50,000 citizens from north-eastern states moved from their residences across India and rushed to their native places after “circulation of false images of violent incidents that took place not in India but in Myanmar several years ago”, it added. 

The court has said it will hear the matter on November 22.

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