The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to hear an intervening plea in allegations against activist Harsh Mander that he instigated a crowd against the top court during an anti-Citizenship Act protest, PTI reported. The plea was filed by a victim of the communal violence in North East Delhi, which has claimed 47 lives so far.
On Wednesday, the Delhi Police had filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court, seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against Mander for insulting the court. However, the counsel for Mander, Karuna Nundy, denied he had made any such comments.
Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves on Thursday told a bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde that the victim wished to intervene in Mander’s case, which is scheduled to be heard by the Delhi High Court on Friday. “We will not allow you to intervene,” Bobde told the advocate.
Gonsalves said he had seen the video clip where Mander allegedly said that he has no faith in the Supreme Court and that “real justice will be done on the streets”, adding that he wanted to place it on record.
However, Bobde rejected his request and said the court had already asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to put the video on record. “We don’t need you in that proceeding,” he added.
On Wednesday, the Centre alleged that Mander, who has sought cases against some politicians for indulging in hate speech, has made inflammatory remarks himself. Taking cognisance of this, the Supreme Court had said the petition filed by Mander would be heard only after it had dealt with the contents of a video where he allegedly instigated a crowd against the top court.
The Supreme Court had also transferred all the petitions related to large-scale communal violence in North East Delhi to the Delhi High Court. The top court asked the Delhi High Court to take up the matters on March 6.
The top court bench comprising Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justices Surya Kant and BR Gavai was hearing two petitions – a writ plea filed by nine riot victims and a special leave petition filed by Mander. Both these petitions sought the registration of first information reports against Bharatiya Janata Party leaders Kapil Mishra, Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Verma, for allegedly inciting the violence in the national Capital through hate speech.
During the hearing, the Solicitor General referred to Mander’s case and read out parts of his speech to the court, which he said amounted to hate speech. Bobde then sought a transcript of the video. “We want to clear this out, we will issue notice and till this is clarified, we will not hear you, we will hear the other petitioners,” the court said.