The Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked Delhi Police to inform whether the 2020 riots hate speeches cases it is dealing with are subject matter of the proceedings pending before the Supreme Court.
“If these hate speeches are also under consideration in the proceedings pending before the Supreme Court, would it be advisable for us to proceed with it?” a division bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Talwant Singh said.
The bench was dealing with a bunch of petitions seeking FIRs against leaders like Union Minister Anurag Thakur, BJP leader Kapil Mishra and others for alleged hate speeches during riots.
The Supreme Court, on December 17, 2021 had asked the High Court to decide expeditiously, preferably within three months, on one of the petitions seeking FIR and investigation against politicians.
Furthermore, the court asked senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, who was representing one of the petitioners, Shaikh Mujtaba, regarding any instances in which the High Court had ordered that a retired judge launch a fact-finding investigation.
“Supreme Court has done so but has the High Court ever directed it? Supreme Court has powers under Article 142 which the High Court doesn’t exercise,” it held.
About the pendency of proceedings the bench said that none of these parties that are now impleaded were parties when these matters were first listed.
“That delay was occasioned not because of the court. They were not parties. That’s the point,” the court said.
“Today again we are told that there is only one petition before us and now the batch is clubbed again. The idea is to make sure that in this clutter, we don’t lose the plot. We want to know whether these hate speeches are subject matter before Supreme Court,” the court said.
On July 13, 2022, the HC had allowed the applications seeking impleadment of various political leaders like Thakur, Mishra and Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma, Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, AAP’s Manish Sisodia and AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi among others in the pleas.
The court listed the matter for the next hearing on February 2.