Social activists in India have filed a plea before the Supreme Court seeking the prevention of hate speech in public places.
The move comes in the wake of reported hate speeches made against Muslims by Hindu Rakshak Dal (Save Hindu Forum) at a rally in capital Delhi on Aug.8.
Syeda Hameed, a former member of the Planning Commission of India, and Professor Alok Rai, a former faculty member of Delhi University, filed the public interest litigation on Aug. 16, urging the apex court to recognize that public authorities have a “duty of care” to prevent such speeches.
he petitioners asked the court to define the contours of liability when authorities willfully allow hate speech in contravention of constitutional and statutory laws.
Pointing out that it was the fifth such rally to be held in three months across the national capital region and neighboring Haryana state, the petition underlined how “speeches calling for direct action against Muslims were made.”
Video footage of the Aug. 8 rally circulating on television and social media showed mobs openly calling for the killing of Muslims. Delhi police later made some arrests after failing to take preventive action, which was against the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court, the petitioners pointed out.