Delhi riots: Centre gets 4 weeks to act on BJP leaders' hate speeches

Delhi hate speeches: Court gives Centre 4 weeks to update on action taken
BJP leader Kapil Mishra

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday granted four weeks to the Centre and the police to file their replies to the PIL seeking lodging of FIRs against four BJP leaders for allegedly making hate speeches.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar allowed impleadment of the Centre in the PIL seeking lodging of FIRs and arrests in northeast Delhi where communal violence has erupted over the amended citizenship law.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the bench that as the Centre is responsible for maintaining law and order in Delhi, it be made a party in the matter, which was allowed by the court.

He informed the bench that 48 FIRs have been lodged in relation to the violence and said there be no judicial intervention till normalcy is restored in the national capital.

Mehta said the FIRs have been lodged in relation to arson, looting and the deaths in the communal violence.

The death toll in the communal violence reached 34 on Thursday, with around 200 people injured.

This comes a day after an HC bench headed by Justice S Muralidhar expressed "anguish" over the Delhi Police's failure to register FIRs against four BJP leaders over their alleged hate speeches in connection with the Citizenship (Amendment) Act-related violence and observed that the city had seen enough violence and it should not witness another 1984 anti-Sikh riots-like incident.

The bench had also questioned that when the police could register FIRs in connection with incidents of violence, including arson, looting, stone pelting, why did it not show alacrity when it came to the alleged hate speeches by the three BJP leaders - Anurag Thakur, Abhay Verma, Parvesh Verma and Kapil Mishra.

Hours after Judge Muralidhar had pulled up the police for inaction, he was transferred to the Punjab and Haryana court. The transfer had drawn criticism from opposition parties.

The Supreme Court Collegium had recommended Muralidhar's transfer on February 12, but what raised eyebrows was the issuance of the order after he asked Delhi Police why no FIR was filed against BJP leaders.