NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court was hearing petitions, including the one filed by Harsh Mander against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders for alleged hate speech that incited Delhi violence when the entire focus of the proceeding flipped.
The hearing took a u-turn when Solicitor General Tushar Mehta alleged that social activist and author Harsh Mander also gave an inflammatory speech. Mehta, who is representing the Centre said that Mander made derogatory remarks against the top court at a protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act at Jamia Milia Islamia.
He presented transcripts of the alleged speech where Harsh Mander said that he had no faith in the apex court as it did not safeguard “humanity, secularism and equality” and that ultimate justice has to be done on the streets.
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Clearly irked by his statements, Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde, heading the bench said, “If this is what you feel about the court, then we have to decide what to do with you."
The bench also declined to hear his plea and asked the Delhi Police to submit an affidavit. Mander is known for taking a contemptuous stand and bringing the judiciary as an institution and individual judges to disrepute, Delhi Police said in its affidavit.“It is, therefore, submitted that the petition filed by Sh. Harsh Mander may kindly be dismissed with exemplary costs and proceedings of contempt of court be initiated against him,” the affidavit added.
The court is set to hear the matter of Mander's speech on Friday, 6 March.
Advocate Karuna Nundy, who is representing Mander, however, denied all allegations and sought time to verify the alleged hate speech, but Mehta said, "It is strange that he wants time for verifying his own speech but wants FIRs against everyone immediately."
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"The allegations against Mander are serious. The court will not hear Mander till the issue on allegations against him is sorted out," said the CJI.