The Supreme Court on Friday expressed its dissatisfaction with the reply filed by the Delhi Police where it gave a clean chit to Sudarshan News TV Editor-in-Chief Suresh Chavhanke on hate speech allegedly made at the December 2021 Delhi Dharam Sansad.
"They say they are ready to kill," senior advocate Kapil Sibal said referring to the portion of the speech made during the Delhi Dharam Sansad. "The police say this is to save the ethics of the community. Your lordships may have to decide constitutionally what the ethics are," Sibal—representing journalist Qurban Ali and former Patna High Court judge Anjana Prakash—said after requesting the bench to read the transcript of the speech made.
This prompted the bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and AS Oka to wonder if the concerned officer—Deputy Commissioner of Police (South East) Esha Ranjan—had put any thought to filing the affidavit, or merely reproduced the enquiry report of a junior officer.
"We want to know if the superior officer has understood the nuances of other aspects before filing this affidavit. "Has any superior officer verified this? Whether such a stand can be taken in an affidavit. Do you want to have a relook?" the bench asked the Delhi Police.
"Is it your stand as well or the reproduction of inquiry report of Sub Inspector level officer?" the top court remarked giving the Delhi Police another chance to file a fresh affidavit.
Last week, the Delhi Police filed a reply before the Supreme Court where it said that no hate speech was made at the December 2021 Delhi dharam sansad. In its reply, the Delhi Police further alleged that the gathering organized by the Hindu Yuva Vahini was with the purpose and motive "to save the ethics of their community". Allegations that the Delhi Police was "hand in glove with perpetrators of communal hate are baseless and imaginary", the reply added.
The top court is hearing a plea that sought action against the speakers of the dharam sansad held in December 2021 at Haridwar and Delhi.
Additional Solicitor General KM Natraj, representing the Delhi Police said: "We will have a re-look and file a fresh affidavit."
The top court gave the Delhi Police two weeks to file its fresh reply. The matter will now be heard on May 9.