By Ajay Tomar
At least eight hate-speech cases in 12 months and not even one charge sheet filed! Meet T Raja Singh, the BJP MLA from Goshamahal in Telangana’s Hyderabad.
The Supreme Court on 17 January took cognisance of Raja Singh’s speeches, and observed that some of them were “certainly objectionable”.
It further asked the authorities to be “conscious that no incitement to violence and hate speech are permissible”. The top court was hearing a case, Shaheen Abdulla vs the Union of India.
The case pertained to Singh’s alleged communally incendiary statements while addressing rallies organised by the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) in Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Telangana over the past several months.
The latest in the series of cases against Raja Singh was registered on 6 January at Solapur in Maharashtra. Besides the Telangana MLA, a BJP legislator from Maharashtra, too, was arraigned as an accused for delivering hate speeches during a “Hindu Jan Aakrosh” rally in the state.
The Jail Road Police at Solapur booked Singh under IPC sections 153A (creating enmity between two different groups on the grounds of religion) and 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs).
In the previous year, at least eight cases under the same IPC sections, if not more, were registered against the BJP MLA in Mumbai, Kota (Rajasthan), Hyderabad, and Bengaluru. However, no charge sheet has been filed in any of the cases.
Taking note of the cases, the petitioner’s (Abdulla) lawyer, senior counsel Kapil Sibal, argued that lodging FIRs against the BJP MLA was not deterring him from continuing to deliver alleged hate speeches.
“When the event takes place, we come to this court, and an FIR is lodged. But nothing is done. Then, he continues with this kind of speech. What is the point of all this? See the kind of hatred he is propagating,” Sibal submitted before a two-judge bench of Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice Dipankar Datta
Speaking to South First, Colin Gonsalves, a Supreme Court senior advocate, said that there has been a spurt in hate speeches ever since the BJP-led Union government came to power in 2014.
“Ever since this government came to power, hate speeches have been going up exponentially. This means there is a steep upward curve in hate speeches,” he said. Many of these speeches are being made in BJP-ruled states.
“The Union government protects the wrongdoers. All those engaging in the hate speeches are being protected by the police,” Gonsalves, also the founder of Delhi-based Human Rights Law Network (HRLN), said.
This story was originally published in thesouthfirst.com. Read the full story here .