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Ramjas College row: Delhi court says can't permit hate speech; plea for another FIR dismissed

New Delhi: Delivering hate speeches and raising slogans that threaten the unity and integrity of the country cannot be permitted to be donned in the attire of freedom of speech and expression, a Delhi court on Tuesday said.

The "veil needs to be pierced and slitted," it added. The stern observations were made by Metropolitan Magistrate Abhilash Malhotra in a complaint against some students' groups for allegedly raising slogans at Delhi University's Ramjas college in February.

Ramjas College. Wikimedia Commons

Ramjas College. Wikimedia Commons

However, the court dismissed the complaint seeking another FIR into the matter saying the audio-video footage brought before it was "unauthenticated".

It said that in a democratic society, "a sincere and fair criticism is always a euphony and benediction as it leads to refinement of policies and transformation of systems."

"But hate speeches/sloganeering inciting the naive and innocuous and threatening the unity and integrity of the country cannot be permitted to be donned in the attire of freedom of speech and expression. The veil needs to be pierced and slitted," the court observed.

It said that those who dare to threaten the integrity of country need to be dealt with iron hand as a citizen was "constitutionally and morally bound" to uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India.

"One has to be indebted to his/her motherland and make sincere contribution for its development. Our Constitution recognises the freedom of speech and expression but it is not absolute," the court observed.

The court which dismissed the plea for another FIR in the case on the ground of avoiding duplication of the same and due to lack of authentic evidence, also said the students should be taught the principles of freedom struggle so that they remain on a path of righteousness.

"Creation and destruction both play in laps of a mentor, and he/she should carve the minds of students with chisel of principles of freedom struggle i.e. Satya, Ahimsa, Swaraj, Sarvodya and Antodya. These principles if imbibed and followed like apostles, will never let one falter from the path of righteousness," it said.

On 21 February members of the RSS student wing ABVP had gathered outside the college and shouted slogans in protest against a seminar for which JNU students Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid were invited.

The Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) members allegedly pelted stones, vandalised the venue and disrupted the seminar.

The next day violent clashes had broken out between the students of All India Students Association (AISA) and Students Federation of India (SFI) and the ABVP students, which left several of them and three teachers injured.

Published Date: Nov 07, 2017 20:39 PM | Updated Date: Nov 07, 2017 20:39 PM

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