A court in Delhi on Tuesday rejected a plea seeking the registration of additional sedition charges against Delhi University students who allegedly raised anti-India slogans during an event at Ramjas College earlier this year, The Indian Express reported.

Metropolitan Magistrate Abhilash Malhotra ruled that the complainant – advocate and Bharatiya Janata Party member Vikas Garg – had based his charges on unauthenticated footage obtained from social media, IANS reported. Malhotra noted that the Delhi Police had already lodged an FIR in the incident and was investigating the matter.

The police, however, are free to file sedition charges if it possesses sufficient and concrete evidence, the magistrate said. Those who threaten the nation’s integrity “need to be dealt with an iron hand”, he added.

“Our Constitution recognises freedom of speech and expression, but it is not absolute,” said Malhotra. “But hate speeches/sloganeering, inciting the innocuous and threatening the unity and integrity of the country cannot be permitted...The veil needs to be pierced and slit.”

Violence broke out at Ramjas College in February during an event where Jawaharlal Nehru University students’ union leaders Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid were invited.