New Delhi: The Supreme Court Wednesday took strong note of the Centre’s allegations that activist Harsh Mander, who sought lodging of FIRs against some BJP leaders, has also made certain objectionable remarks against the top court, ‘majesty of law’, the government and Parliament.
The top court not only refused to hear Mander’s counsel Karuna Nundy till the issue of his alleged hate speech is ‘sorted’, but also kept his petition to ‘itself’.
A bench, comprising Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justices BR Gavai and Surya Kant, remanded to the Delhi High Court another plea of 10 riot victims seeking registration of FIRs against BJP leaders – Anurag Thakur, Pravesh Verma, Kapil Mishra and Abhay Verma – for allegedly making hate speeches.
No sooner the hearing commenced, the bench told the counsel appearing in the matter that it has come to its notice that Mander has made some statements against the Supreme Court, the government and Parliament.
“The petitioner (Mander) appeared before the High Court. He made statements against the Supreme Court and Parliament,” the bench said in the packed courtroom.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, took no time to respond to the remarks of the bench. “Yes he made such statements and it is routine for him and what he said can’t be repeated.”
Mehta said however that he can make reference of some of the alleged hate speech delivered by Mander during the anti-CAA protests and at the Jamia Millia University on December 16, 2019.
The law officer read out certain excerpts from alleged speech of Mander and said that they included objectionable statements about the apex court, Parliament and the government.
“We have seen the track record of the Supreme Court. We have no faith in the Supreme Court but we will go there as we have no choice. But, ultimate justice will be done on the streets,” Mehta said quoting Mander’s alleged hate speech.
Mehta also referred to the speech which was allegedly provocative and was aimed at instigating Muslims.
“If this is what you (lawyer for Mander) think of this court then we will have to deal with this. You heard the allegations and now, before we hear you, you see the allegations and respond to them,” the bench said and asked senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, appearing for the riots victims, to proceed with his submissions.
“We have been told that you (Mander) have made certain remarks against this court,” the bench said, adding that it wanted to know all of them who have violated the majesty of law.
“Tushar Mehta, Solicitor General appearing for the respondent(s), states that he will file the counter affidavit to this petition during the course of the day and furnish copy thereof to the counsel appearing for the petitioner (Mander) forthwith,” the bench said in its order.
The bench then asked Mander’s counsel Nundy to file response to the affidavit of the Centre by March 5 and fixed the plea for hearing that day, rejecting the vehement objection that Mander is in US and will only be able to come March 8.
Mehta said Mander wanted immediate lodging of FIRs against the leaders without they being given a notice and was adopting different yardstick when the allegations relate to him. The law officer said Mander himself is guilty of hate speech and ‘he can be the subject matter of the FIR’.