The Delhi Police received a smack on the knuckles from the Supreme Court on Friday for registering a FIR on the alleged hate statements spoken at Dharam Sansad in Govindpuri in December 2021 after a delay of five months and failing to make an arrest or file a chargesheet to this point.
After petitioner Tushar Gandhi claimed there was an explicit call for violence at the Dharam Sansad and yet, in flagrant violation of the SC’s Tehseen Poonawala judgement directing prompt action against hate-mongers, police has taken essentially no action, a bench of CJI DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha questioned additional solicitor general KM Nataraj.
What actions were taken after the FIR in Delhi?
Shadan Farasat, Tushar Gandhi’s attorney, said that rather than pursuing legal action against the Delhi Police commissioner, his client wants concrete steps taken to safeguard the nation’s secular fabric and interfaith harmony.
Nataraj was facing the bench when it questioned, “What actions has the Delhi Police taken in response to claims that Dharam Sansad was the site of hate speech? How many people have been arrested? Who is the investigating officer who has not yet submitted a chargesheet even 8 months after the FIR was registered? The occurrence happened on December 19, 2021. How much time would it take the Delhi Police to wrap up their inquiries and submit a chargesheet?”
According to Nataraj, a FIR has been filed, and an investigation is ongoing. “The petitioner is not permitted to direct how the investigation will be conducted. The Supreme Court’s 2018 instructions in the Tehseen Poonawala case have been properly followed, hence the Delhi Police is not in violation of them “ASG stated. However, the SC ordered the Delhi Police to submit an affidavit outlining the actions taken since the FIR was filed on May 4 of last year within two weeks.
The SC strongly disagreed with the Delhi Police affidavit from April of last year, which stated, “Police thoroughly investigated and evaluated the video’s contents, but they were unable to locate any evidence supporting the complaints made by the complainants. There isn’t any speech against a specific group in the footage of the Delhi incident. This led to the conclusion that the purported speech did not contain any hate speech against a specific community as claimed or otherwise following an investigation and study of the accused video clip.” According to the Delhi Police, all complaints have been resolved. After a month, it filed the FIR.