A Delhi Court on January 27 sought an Action Taken Report (ATR) from the Police on a plea filed against Mr. Suresh Chavhanke, Editor-in-Chief of the Sudarshan TV for allegedly giving hate speech and promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, at an event organised by Hindu Yuva Vahini at Banarsidas Chandiwala Auditorium near Govindpuri Metro Station, New Delhi on December 19, 2021.

The plea, filed by Syed Qasim Rasool Ilyas, President of Welfare Party of India, seeking registration of FIR against Chavhanke, has been moved through Association for Protection of Civil Rights (APCR) and filed by Advocates Tara Narula, Tamanna Pankaj and Priya Vats.

The complaint alleges that Chavhanke was “seen administering an oath” to a group of people to “die for and kill” to make India a “Hindu Rashtra” or a “Hindu Nation”.

In the said backdrop, the plea states: “It is submitted that this is not the only incident where the accused was seen giving hateful statements and inciting and instigating his supporters to fight for “the dream of Hindu Rashtra” and spread religious frenzy and disrupt communal harmony either through public events, his social media handles or through his show named “Bindas Bol”. The plea also states that despite the complaint and follow-up representation filed by the applicant, no action has been initiated for taking action against Chavhanke. “It is imperative that action be taken against Mr. Suresh Chavhanke holding them responsible for their inflammatory statements and to prevent any incidents of violence,” the plea adds.

The complainant, who is a public-spirited citizen, approached APCR for legal advice and legal assistance against the hate speech made by Chavhanke in Delhi in December last year. With the help of the counsels associated with APCR, the complaint was filed under Sections 153A, 153B, 295A, 298, and 504, 505(2) and 506 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 against Chavhanke in Govindpuri Police Station on December 25, 2021. An enquiry officer was assigned to the complaint no. 89550022102594 but no immediate action was taken despite the seriousness of the offence.

No preliminary inquiry was required in the present case as the inflammatory, communal and hate speeches were made by the accused persons during public events and the videos of the same are in the public domain.

Seeing no immediate action on the complaint, a representation was also made to the Deputy Commissioner of Police of South East District through email to demand immediate action on the hate speech to maintain public peace and tranquillity, said APCR.

After acknowledging no appropriate legal action being taken by the police, a plea was filed in Saket District Court, seeking directions to police for the registration of FIR and arrest of the accused as per law on the complaint dated December 25, 2021 to prevent any incidents of violence due to his hate-speech.

The petitioner said, “Despite all the available electronic evidence against Suresh Chavhanke and after approaching all the ranks in police hierarchy, no action was taken on my complaint in due time.

“The laxity of Delhi Police forced us to move the hon’ble court for seeking appropriate legal remedy in the interest of justice.”

Metropolitan Magistrate Jitendra Pratap Singh of the Saket Court has now posted the matter for further hearing on March 15.

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