SC asks Centre, States to act against hate speeches

SC asks Centre, States to act against hate speeches

Voicing concern over hate speeches by politicians and religious leaders, the Supreme Court today asked the Central and state governments to show courage and take penal action in such cases which "disturb the basic fabric".

The apex court said there was a need for taking concrete steps to curb such speeches and the Centre should ask state governments to apply penal provisions in dealing with those delivering such speeches.

"You have to examine that in some way these things can be checked. There is a need to take concrete steps. These things are not good for the health of the country...The Centre can ask the state governments.

"These things are happening which is not good for common people and some steps have to be taken," a bench comprising Chief Justice Altamas Kabir and justices Vikramajit Sen and Sharad Arvind Bobde said when the Centre was making its submission.

Additional Solicitor General Sidharth Luthra said the issue falls in the domain of state governments and it was for them to take action against those indulging in such speeches.

"Some action has to be taken against those people. You should have courage. These types of speeches disturb the basic fabric of the country," the bench observed while adding that "some of the subject matter in the writ petition is very concerning".

The bench was hearing a plea by an NGO seeking framing of guidelines for restricting hate speeches by politicians and leaders of social and religious organisations.

The Election Commission said it has made recommendation for amendment in the Representation of People Act to get some powers to deal with such issues in political speeches.

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