The Supreme Court on Wednesday strongly condemned hate speech, stating that it would cease the minute politics and religion were separated and politicians stopped utilising religion for political purposes.
The top court said that hate speech is being expressed by fringe groups and that people should exercise restraint.
Justices KM Joseph and BV Nagarathna’s bench cited former prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s speeches, noting that people would go from far-off places and every nook and cranny to hear them.
The bench questioned how many people the courts could punish for contempt and asked why Indians couldn’t sign a commitment promising not to defame other individuals or communities.
“Everyday fringe elements are making speeches to vilify others including on TV and public forums,” the bench said while hearing a contempt petition against various state authorities for failing to register FIRs against those making hate speeches.
In addition, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta brought up a disparaging remark made by a man in Kerala about a particular community, and he questioned petitioner Shaheen Abdullah’s choice to highlight only certain instances of hate speech throughout the country.
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