Delhi court asks Police to respond to plea seeking FIR against Kapil Mishra

A trial court has asks Delhi Police to file a report on Kapil Mishra’s alleged inflammatory, incendiary, and provocative speeches of February 2020


A trial court has directed the Delhi Police to file a report on Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member Kapil Mishra’s alleged inflammatory, incendiary, and provocative speeches delivered during the February 2020 Delhi riots. According to a report in the Muslim Mirror, the trial court has directed the Delhi Police to file a report on the speeches made by Mishra and others which had allegedly triggered the communal riots in North East Delhi, in February 2020. The riots had snuffed out 54 lives, hundreds were injured, and thousands were displaced during, and after the area was engulfed during the communal riots. 

It is almost a year, to the date when the riots began, and this order passed by the Metropolitan Magistrate, Himanshu Raman Singh at Patiala House Courts, New Delhi, may offer a ray of hope to the riot survivors. The order was passed on a plea filed by human rights defender Harsh Mander who had sought  that a first information report (FIR) be registered against Kapil Mishra. It was passed on January 29 and stated that the court “deems it appropriate to call the report from the Deputy Commissioner of Police concerned” reported Muslim Mirror which also shared an image of the order:

According to the news report Mander had invoked Section 125 of the Representation of People’s Act, and asked that an FIR be registered against Mishra under section 153 of the Indian Penal Code, which does not require prior government’s sanction.

According to Muslim Mirror, Mander’s lawyer Sarim Naved said that this may “may pave the way for filing the cases against those who incited and fomented the Delhi riots”. The Delhi High Court had given Harsh Mander the liberty to approach the Magistrate regarding the issue of inflammatory and provocative speeches around the time of the 2020 Delhi riots, stated the lawyer.

Mishra was among the many BJP politicians who have been called out for their similar statements, some of which are alleged to have fired communal tensions in the National Capital, especially in 2020. 

Activist and Communist Party of India (Marxist) Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat has also been seeking legal action against hate speeches by politicians who were targeting those protesting anti-CAA-NRC-NPR and whose words could have incited mobs to violence. Karat had approached the Delhi High Court and challenged the trial court order that had dismissed her plea seeking that a First Information Report (FIR) be registered against Union Minister Anurag Thakur, and  Pravesh Verma, his party colleague and Member of Parliament from Delhi for their alleged hate speeches, targeting those who participated in the anti-CAA protests in Delhi, especially at Shaheen Bagh protest site. 

Karat challenged the August 26 order by a trial court which rejected her plea on technical grounds that certain ‘prior sanctions’ from the Central government had not been obtained, as required under the law. Brinda Karat and CPI (M) leader KM Tewari had filed a complaint in the trial court seeking directions to the Parliament Street Police Station to register the FIR against Thakur and Verma. However, the trial court ruled that the complaint was not sustainable without the prior sanction. Karat, in her petition in the HC, sought quashing of the trial court’s order and also a direction for expeditious disposal of applications under Section 156(3) CrPC (power of a magistrate to direct the police to conduct investigation in respect of a cognisable offence) and that technical objections and maintainability be decided at the threshold to avoid prejudice to the complainant and wastage of judicial time.

However, Mander’s plea only pressed Section 153 of the IPC (provocation for riot) and Section 125 of the Representation of People Act (causing ill will between communities for the purpose of an election), neither of which require prior sanction. Accordingly, the Magistrate has asked the DCP to submit a report and clarify the Delhi Police stand on if they will register an FIR under these two sections against Kapil Misra or not. According to Muslim Mirror, Mander’s lawyer said in case the police does not file an FIR, they will appeal to the Court to order it.  The Police have to file its action taken report on the matter, before the  next hearing on March 9.

In the wake of the gruesome Delhi violence, Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) was one of the first to raise concerns and had initiated an Online Petition appealing to the Chief Justice of India, SA Bobde, to hold Kapil Mishra – said to be the chief instigator – accountable for instigating violence using hate speech and prosecute him. The CJP had demanded that Kapil Mishra be held accountable for his words and actions, and sought his arrest for instigating interfaith violence in North East Delhi. 

The anti-minority violence in the North East of Delhi started on  February 23, 2020, the day Mishra led a pro-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) rally close to the site of the anti-CAA protest near the Jafrabad metro station. At the protest site, standing next to a uniformed police officer he said, “We will remain peaceful till Trump leaves. After that we will not listen to you.”

The CJP had also taken the matter to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) with a complaint against Kapil Mishra, a BJP politician who is using social media platforms to spew communal hate against minorities of the country. The CJP complaint dated November 18, 2020 to MEITY’s detailed how Kapil Mishra was using his Twitter account to circulate a google form for his followers to fill and become a part of “Hindu Ecosystem Team” to work together and build the “right” narrative in the media. The form seeks personal details like name, profession, special interests (“gauraksha, gausewa, fight love Jihad, ghar wapsi, halal, mandir nirmal, hindu ekta, sewa, etc”) of his massive eight lakh followers. The membership form asks one to specify whether they would be joining the team “online” or “on the ground” or both. Mishra continues his communal activities till date.


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