PIL filed in SC to implement Law Commission report to curtail hate speech

NEW DELHI: BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay on Thursday filed a plea in Supreme Court (SC) to implement Law Commission’s report on hate speech. The petition argues that hate speeches severely “affect fraternity, dignity, unity and national integration”.

The petitioner also alleged that the government did nothing since 2017 to implement the Law Commission report which contained recommendation to curtail hate speeches.

Upadhyay has sought directions from the apex court to direct the government of India to take “appropriate steps to implement the recommendations of Law Commission Report No-267”.

Discussing the anomalies in legislature, Upadhyay stated that under Section 123, Representation of Peoples Act, appeal on the grounds of religion, race, caste, community or language etc. and promotions of feelings of enmity between different classes constitute corrupt practice but the Election Commission cannot order the investigation even when Model Code of Conduct is in force.

Ironically, these provisions are applied only during the period of election. Moreover, there is no provision to challenge the corrupt practice of a candidate, who has lost the election.

The petition also asserts that hate speech is often made during an election. These hate speeches are made to garner support from a particular party and candidate, which is against the basic dictum of a ‘Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic’ like India, the petition reads.

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