The Supreme Court on Friday said it will not issue a contempt notice against activist Harsh Mander on allegations that he instigated a crowd against the top court during an anti-Citizenship Act protest, PTI reported. The top court, while asking Mander to respond to the allegations of hate speech against him, adjourned the case to April 15.
On Wednesday, the Delhi Police had filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court, seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against Mander for allegedly insulting the court. In the affidavit, the police cited a video clip where Mander allegedly said that he had no faith in the Supreme Court and that “real justice will be done on the streets” at a protest in Delhi’s Jamia Milia Islamia University last year.
The affidavit was filed after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta brought up Mander’s speech in the Supreme Court during a hearing on a clutch of petitions on the communal violence in North East Delhi.
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 claimed amounted to hate speech. The chief justice then sought a transcript of the video and said the petition filed by Mander would be heard only after the court had dealt with the contents of the video.
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 Delhi High Court on Friday said it would take up the pleas on filing FIRs related to hate speech next on March 12.