HC issues slew of directions to check hate crimes in Delhi

HC issues slew of directions to check hate crimes in Delhi

The Delhi High Court today asked the Centre and city government to come up with a law to prevent hate crimes against migrants and issued a slew of directions like speedy disposal of such cases and deputing personnel from the Northeast in the police as part of efforts to ensure safety of people from others states.

A bench of Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, which had taken suo motu cognizance of media reports about the death of Arunchal youth Nido Tania, said the recent incidents are indicative of a disturbing trend of intolerance to movement of people within the country, which threatens the integrity of the country.

The bench directed Delhi police to ensure safety of people from northeast by deploying force in the localities, where such migrants stay, provide separate helpline number, operational within six weeks and to give it wide publicity.

In its 12-page direction, the bench also expressed concern over delay in filing of the post mortem reports and directed setting up of forensic laboratories in each of the district of Delhi.

It directed upgradation of existing CFSL Laboratories at the earliest.

The high court said that the courts should expeditiously deal with the cases of harassment of people from northeast and sought "outreach programmes for making people from northeastern states in Delhi aware of their legal rights and to render the requisite legal aid to them".

"No native of any state of India can be allowed to, by harassing, offending and by other criminal acts, prevent people from another state to settle and carry on any business or vocation therein.

"Today, when the boundaries between countries and restriction on movement internationally are disappearing, it is unfortunate that a small cross section of society is attempting to put up barriers to movement within the country. The Constitution of India does not provide for, India as a confederation of states, broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls but as a Union of States," the bench said.

It said that the Centre and Delhi government should bring a legislation for preventing natives of one state from harassing in any manner the migrants.

"We are further of the view that the GNCTD as well as the Central government should give thought to the possibility of bringing a legislation for preventing the natives of one state from harassing in any manner the migrants from any other Indian states or from indulging in hate crimes against them, including by amendment to the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1995 and Scheduled castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act), 1989," the bench said.

The High Court had issued direction after taking suo motu cognizance on February 3 of media reports about the death of 19-year-old Tania, son of an Arunachal Pradesh MLA, after he was allegedly beaten up by shopkeepers in Lajpat Nagar area in South Delhi.

It also said that the Centre should immediately induct police personnel belonging to North-Eastern region on deputation basis.

"We direct that immediate steps should be taken in this regard by giving vide publicity thereto in the vernacular languages not only in Guwahati and Assam but in the entire North-Eastern region," the court said, adding that sufficient personnel should be hired in all 11 district of Delhi, as it "will go long way in building confidence" in the northeast people.

The bench headed by Justice Ramana also asked the courts to expedite the disposal of cases of harassment and crime against people from northeast in Delhi, so that the conviction "if any therein, can act as deterrent".

While referring to the Delhi Police suggestion to set up designated court to try offences against people of northeast, the bench said, "We are of the opinion that a quicker decision can be achieved by giving direction on the administrative side to the concerned courts, rather than designating one court only for trial of all such cases".

The bench also expressed concern over delay in filing of the post mortem reports and asked the "Delhi police to identify the said discrepancy and to take steps for ensuring" that the reports reach on time.

"We direct the GNCTD (Delhi government) to in the interregnum set up such laboratories in hired accommodation or in some other available accommodation of Delhi government and take other measures for enhancing the capacity of existing laboratories," the court said.

"We are of the view that the existing CFSL Laboratories should also be reappraised for inducting modern technology and for enhancing its capacity. We direct so and further direct all purchase of required equipments to be completed at the earliest, latest within four weeks," the order said.

The high court also said that the government should find out why crimes against people from the northeast are taking place in national capital so frequently.

"The Centre as well as the Delhi government in tandem or separately to undertake such studies, as wee are of the view that without identifying the disease, no fool-proof cure thereof can be found," it said. MORE PTI PPS SJK RT 02122037

The bench was also of the view that one of the root cause of altercation entailing persons of northeastern in Delhi, is the failure of other residents of Delhi to recognise them as Indians, addressing them as belonging to another country and mocking at their differences, which angers such persons.

"The Centre as well as Delhi government to immediately take steps through print and electronic media to remove the said misconception and to build awareness in other residents of Delhi of the grievances of the people from North-Eastern region," the court said.

It also directed that Delhi Legal Service Authority should hold programmes to make people of northeast aware of their legal rights.

"Devise and hold workshops to educate other residents of Delhi, sensitise them about the grievances of the persons from North-Eastern stats in Delhi," it added.

The bench also said that "there are bound to be cultural differences between people of different states of India. Such difference are the essence of humanity. The said difference, rather than becoming a source of hatred or conflict and separating us, should be respected and harnessed to bring a collective strength that can benefit the entire country.

"If this country is to survive and to be at peace, each of us has to respect the rights of others and cultivate the ability to live together. Tolerance, is a requirement for survival. Mahatma Gandhi said "no culture can live if it attempts to be exclusive," Justice Ramana added.

The recent incidents, the court said, are indicative of a disturbing trend of intolerance to movement of people within the country,  which threatens the integrity of the country.

It said the Constitution of India, Article 19 (1)(d)& (e) recognises and confers on all citizens the right to move freely throughout the territory of India and to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India and Article 301 thereof provides that trade, commerce and intercourse throughout territory of India shall be free.

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