On Hate Speech, Supreme Court’s Big Order To States, And Contempt Warning
New Delhi: The Supreme Court today extended the 2022 order directing all states and Union Territories to register cases for hate speech even if no complaint is made, and warned that delay in filing cases would be considered contempt of court.
Terming it a serious offence, the Supreme Court said hate speech was “capable of affecting the secular fabric of the country”.
The court heard petitions related to hate speech offences. The bench had earlier asked the state of Maharashtra to file a reply on a contempt petition alleging failure to take action against hate speech.
The Supreme Court’s October 2022 order to voluntarily register FIRs in hate speech cases was implemented only against the states of UP, Delhi and Uttarakhand.
“We further make it clear that such action should be taken irrespective of the religion of the maker of the speech, thereby preserving the secular character of India envisaged in the Preamble,” the bench said in its order today.