Delhi HC Reserves Judgment In a Plea Seeking FIR Against MP's Anurag Thakur And Parvesh Verma For thier Alleged Incendiary Speeches
Delhi High Court on Friday reserved judgment in a plea seeking registration of FIR against two BJP MPs for making alleged incendiary speeches that allegedly led to a person firing a gunshot at Jamia University in the wake of anti CAA protests in the year 2020 .
The plea was filed by CPM leaders Brinda Karat and KM Tiwari.
The allegation against the BJP MP and Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur is that he raised the slogan "desh ke gaddaron ko goli maaro saalo ko". The allegation against Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma is that he made incendiary communal remarks during an interview given to news agency ANI.
Justice Chandra Dhari Singh was hearing an appeal against a trial court's order, which refused to direct registration of an FIR against the MPs under Section 156(3) of the CrPC. The trial court's order reasoned that it cannot take cognizance under Section 156(3) until prior l sanction under Section 196 of CrPC was not taken.
Advocates Tara Narula and Adit S Pujari appeared for the Petitioners and Advocate Amit Mahajan appeared for the state.
The petitioners contended that the speech targeted a specific community. To this, the Court asked how criminality can be added to the speech since 'Ye log' in the speeches could be anybody.
To this, the petitioners responded that at that point in time, the anti CAA protests were taking place and the speech was aimed at a particular community
The petitioners submitted that some people gathered around CP Metro Station and started to shout the same slogans and other some ministers of BJP came to Delhi and repeated the same slogan.
The Court also posed a question whether these speeches were made during election time? The petitioners replied in affirmative and told that the speeches were made during election time in January and February.
The Court said that "There is a difference in a speech made during an election and speech during ordinary times. Politicians say a lot of things during elections".
One has to be cognizant of the "mahaul in which speech was made." There has to be men's rea to attach criminality in a speech, the Court said.
Amit Mahajan appearing for the state contended that the Trial court was correct in its approach as petitioners had not received sanction to proceed under Section 196 CrPC.
After hearing both sides, the Court reserved its Judgment.
Case Title: Brinda Karat and Anr. v State of NCT of Delhi and Ors.