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The Delhi High Court today directed the Central government to file its reply on a petition seeking to register FIR against the BJP leaders Anurag Thakur, Parvesh Verma, and Kapil Mishra for allegedly inciting violence in the national capital.

The bench comprising of Justices D N Patel and C Harishankar was hearing a petition filed by social activist and retired bureaucrat Harsh Mander, who sought the court to order immediate registration of FIRs against the three BJP leaders, who allegedly made hate speeches, thereby inciting violence in Northeast Delhi. The court thus gave the Centre four weeks to file its response in the case while making it a party to the matter.

The counsel appearing for the petitioner, Colin Gonsalves during the hearing stated that the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act was going on peacefully, barring some issues like traffic jams. However, the slogans raised in the hate speeches directed people to kill, he said. He added that they should be charged with murder, “no matter who they are”.

The petitioner has further sought a judicial inquiry into the incidents of violence, FIR against culprits, compensation for the riots’ victims and deployment of the Army in the affected areas.

Meanwhile, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing Delhi Police said that the petitioner in his wisdom has selected three speeches as hate speeches and argued that there are many such inflammatory statements that have been made. He further prayed for allowing the application seeking impleadment of the Union of India as a party to the petition, as the Center is responsible for maintaining law and order in Delhi.

“Authorities have examined all the material. We have decided to defer the registration of FIR. It is not conducive at the moment; FIR will be registered at an appropriate time,” added Mehta.

Earlier, on 26 February, a bench comprising Justices S. Muralidhar and Talwant Singh had directed the Delhi Police Commissioner to review the speeches and take a “conscious decision” on the registration of First Information Report (FIR) against the political leaders who are alleged to have incited violence in the city through their speeches.

The matter is listed for the next hearing on 13 April.


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