A bench of Justices KM Joseph and BV Nagarathna termed hate speeches a "serious offense capable of affecting the secular fabric of the country". While extending the scope of its 2022 order beyond three states, the Supreme Court on Friday directed all states and Union Territories to register cases against those making hate speeches even if no complaint has been made.
The bench said its October 21, 2022 order shall be made applicable irrespective of religion and warned any delay in registering cases will be treated as contempt of the court.
"Where have we reached in the name of religion? What have we reduced religion to is really tragic," the apex court had then observed and directed Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Uttarakhand to crack down hard on those making hate speeches, calling them shocking for a country that is religion-neutral.
Holding that the Constitution of India envisages a secular nation, the court had directed Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Delhi to promptly register criminal cases against the offenders without waiting for a complaint to be filed.
The bench has made it clear that hate speech is a serious crime, and law enforcement agencies must not take the matter lightly to avoid a serious flare of violence due to hate speech.
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