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Delhi HC dismisses Brinda Karat’s plea seeking FIR against BJP Leaders for alleged Hate Speech

Court rejected the plea filed against Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Verma for their 2020 hate speech

16 Jun 2022

Delhi HC dismisses Brinda Karat’s plea seeking FIR against BJP Leaders for alleged Hate Speech

After reserving the order for three months, the Delhi High Court on June 13, 2022 dismissed the plea filed by Community Party of India (CPI) leader Brinda Karat and KM Tiwari in a case related to alleged hate speeches made by Union Minister Anurag Thakur and Member of Parliament Parvesh Verma in connection with the North East Delhi communal violence of February 2020.

As per Justice Chandra Dhari Singh, the writ petition even though maintainable, could not be entertained as the High Court should not exercise its power under Article 226 if efficacious alternative remedy is available, doing so would open Pandora’s box for other cases. In the Court’s view, the petitioner’s counsel had failed to follow the prescribed mechanism under the Code of Criminal Procedure and while passing the order, the Trial Court had decided the complaint only on the grounds of jurisdiction without entering into the merits of the case.

Accordingly, the Court reportedly stated that in cases where effective alternative remedy is available, the same must be exhausted and that High Court intervention should not be exercised except in emergent cases, in the interest of justice. During the hearing on March 25, 2022, Justice Chandra Dhari Singh had reportedly remarked that if something is said with a smile, then there is no criminality but if something is said offensively, then there may be criminality.

Following is a thread of shocking statements reportedly made by Justice Chandra Dhari Singh in the previous hearing:

Questioning the criminality attached to the alleged hate speech, Justice Chandra Dhari Singh reportedly asked, "Was the speech made in front of the agitation point? That is why I am saying, Ye log, indicate to whom? Not for any particular community. Ye log can be anybody. How can you translate or think about this? There is no direct instigation. I am not on the point what it was meant for because we are in this writ petition is dealing only with legal issue." Adding to this, he asked, “Where is the communal intent in that speech?"

Additionally, the Court reportedly said, "Was that an election speech or speech during ordinary time? Because if any speech is given during election time then it's a different time, if you're giving a speech in ordinary course, then you're instigating something. In the election speech, so many things are said by the politicians to politicians and that is also a wrong thing. But I have to see the criminality of the act. If you're saying something with a smile then there is no criminality, if you're saying something offensive then definitely. You have to check and balance. Otherwise, I think 1,000 FIRs may be lodged against all politicians during elections."

In another shocking remark, the court reportedly said, “You are also adjudicating the right to speech and all these things, lot of things against two individuals or a group of individuals, that is a different thing. But when and what time, that was delivered and what was the intention. Only intention to win the election or intention to instigate the public to do the crime both are different things. Then you have to see the mens rea.”

In what could be viewed by some as a demonstration of possible bias towards the accused BJP leaders, Justice Singh reportedly said, "I am not saying anything. Only I'm saying, sometimes people say something. I'm not on this case but general for better adjudication of this case. If you are saying something, suppose you've said something only for creating mahauland all these things, I think mens rea because political parties say something else other political parties say something different. Everybody is addressing their constituencies.”

Background

The said petition was filed against a lower court order which declined the prayer for registration of a First Information Report (FIR) against Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Verma for their alleged hate speech. The plea referred to the rally in Delhi where Anurag Thakur was seen and heard chanting the communally charged slogan “Deshkegaddaron ko, golimaaron s**lon ko” on January 27, 2020. It also refers to another speech made by Parvesh Verma dated January 27-28, 2020, while campaigning for Bharatiya Janata Party and subsequently in an interview given to ANI.  As per Scroll, Parvesh Verma was also spreading hate by stating that lakhs of protestors who have gathered at Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh would “rape their sisters and daughters and kill them.”

The said speeches were made ahead of the 2020 Delhi Assembly elections following which riots had broken out in North East Delhi in February, where 53 people died and hundreds were injured, reported Scroll.

Related:

No criminality if Hate Speech made with smile: Delhi HC judge
Why no FIR filed against Anurag Thakur, Parvesh Verma: Court asks Delhi Police
Jantar Mantar hate speech case: Delhi HC grants bail to accused Preet Singh
Jantar Mantar case: Hate monger Pinky Chaudhary granted bail
Hate Speech not Free Speech, outside the purview of Article 19: Uttarakhand HC

Delhi HC dismisses Brinda Karat’s plea seeking FIR against BJP Leaders for alleged Hate Speech

Court rejected the plea filed against Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Verma for their 2020 hate speech

Delhi HC dismisses Brinda Karat’s plea seeking FIR against BJP Leaders for alleged Hate Speech

After reserving the order for three months, the Delhi High Court on June 13, 2022 dismissed the plea filed by Community Party of India (CPI) leader Brinda Karat and KM Tiwari in a case related to alleged hate speeches made by Union Minister Anurag Thakur and Member of Parliament Parvesh Verma in connection with the North East Delhi communal violence of February 2020.

As per Justice Chandra Dhari Singh, the writ petition even though maintainable, could not be entertained as the High Court should not exercise its power under Article 226 if efficacious alternative remedy is available, doing so would open Pandora’s box for other cases. In the Court’s view, the petitioner’s counsel had failed to follow the prescribed mechanism under the Code of Criminal Procedure and while passing the order, the Trial Court had decided the complaint only on the grounds of jurisdiction without entering into the merits of the case.

Accordingly, the Court reportedly stated that in cases where effective alternative remedy is available, the same must be exhausted and that High Court intervention should not be exercised except in emergent cases, in the interest of justice. During the hearing on March 25, 2022, Justice Chandra Dhari Singh had reportedly remarked that if something is said with a smile, then there is no criminality but if something is said offensively, then there may be criminality.

Following is a thread of shocking statements reportedly made by Justice Chandra Dhari Singh in the previous hearing:

Questioning the criminality attached to the alleged hate speech, Justice Chandra Dhari Singh reportedly asked, "Was the speech made in front of the agitation point? That is why I am saying, Ye log, indicate to whom? Not for any particular community. Ye log can be anybody. How can you translate or think about this? There is no direct instigation. I am not on the point what it was meant for because we are in this writ petition is dealing only with legal issue." Adding to this, he asked, “Where is the communal intent in that speech?"

Additionally, the Court reportedly said, "Was that an election speech or speech during ordinary time? Because if any speech is given during election time then it's a different time, if you're giving a speech in ordinary course, then you're instigating something. In the election speech, so many things are said by the politicians to politicians and that is also a wrong thing. But I have to see the criminality of the act. If you're saying something with a smile then there is no criminality, if you're saying something offensive then definitely. You have to check and balance. Otherwise, I think 1,000 FIRs may be lodged against all politicians during elections."

In another shocking remark, the court reportedly said, “You are also adjudicating the right to speech and all these things, lot of things against two individuals or a group of individuals, that is a different thing. But when and what time, that was delivered and what was the intention. Only intention to win the election or intention to instigate the public to do the crime both are different things. Then you have to see the mens rea.”

In what could be viewed by some as a demonstration of possible bias towards the accused BJP leaders, Justice Singh reportedly said, "I am not saying anything. Only I'm saying, sometimes people say something. I'm not on this case but general for better adjudication of this case. If you are saying something, suppose you've said something only for creating mahauland all these things, I think mens rea because political parties say something else other political parties say something different. Everybody is addressing their constituencies.”

Background

The said petition was filed against a lower court order which declined the prayer for registration of a First Information Report (FIR) against Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Verma for their alleged hate speech. The plea referred to the rally in Delhi where Anurag Thakur was seen and heard chanting the communally charged slogan “Deshkegaddaron ko, golimaaron s**lon ko” on January 27, 2020. It also refers to another speech made by Parvesh Verma dated January 27-28, 2020, while campaigning for Bharatiya Janata Party and subsequently in an interview given to ANI.  As per Scroll, Parvesh Verma was also spreading hate by stating that lakhs of protestors who have gathered at Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh would “rape their sisters and daughters and kill them.”

The said speeches were made ahead of the 2020 Delhi Assembly elections following which riots had broken out in North East Delhi in February, where 53 people died and hundreds were injured, reported Scroll.

Related:

No criminality if Hate Speech made with smile: Delhi HC judge
Why no FIR filed against Anurag Thakur, Parvesh Verma: Court asks Delhi Police
Jantar Mantar hate speech case: Delhi HC grants bail to accused Preet Singh
Jantar Mantar case: Hate monger Pinky Chaudhary granted bail
Hate Speech not Free Speech, outside the purview of Article 19: Uttarakhand HC

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Policing in the times of corona has many tones, depending on who you are

Delhi MP gets away with a ‘scolding’ for spreading rumours, tweeting fake video, but eminent intellectuals, activists, journalists must face the brunt of the law

16 May 2020

Parvesh

Delhi Police seems to have merely ‘scolded’ Member of Parliament Parvesh Singh of the  Bharatiya Janata Party for spreading rumours and posting an old video of a Muslims offering namaz together. He had posted on Twitter: “Does any religion permit this kind of act during coronavirus (pandemic)? Lockdown and social distancing norms have been completely destroyed. The maulvis whose salaries have been increased by Arvind Kejriwal — their salaries, if cut, such acts will stop automatically… Or have you taken an oath to destroy .Delhi?"

 

 

 

The visual he shared was from an old video and filmed before the lockdown was announced, and all congregational prayers and gathering banned. Mosques, and Churches, Gurdwaras and temples, across the country had shut down congregational prayers and instructed the devout to pray inside their own homes. Many had begun to conduct the prayer services and rituals online. 

However, the MP representing West Delhi of course did not bother to verify the outdated video and posted it with his acerbic comment, attacking Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for ‘increasing salaries’ of ‘maulvis’ .

As expected, the BJP MPs fake news Tweet targeting Muslims, got enough traction from his followers online, and perhaps some more from his critics. But then the false news Tweet was spotted by Delhi Police’s East Delhi DCP’s Twitter handle, which posted a sharp reply: “This is totally false. An old video is being used with a malicious intent to spread rumours. Please verify before posting and spreading rumours.” 

 

Singh later deleted his tweet, reported The Indian Express and told them that: “Someone sent me the tweet… when I got to know about the authenticity of the video, I deleted it.” The new report also quotes DCP (East) Jasmeet Singh as saying, "The video has been going on for four-five days and I have been telling people that it’s fake. People are aware now. We aren’t taking any action.” 

Interesting to note while the BJP Member of Parliament got away with what appears to be a soft scolding, social media posts and personal opinions of many others have seen Delhi Police take strict actions against the author.

However, Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan, Chairman of the Delhi Minorities Commission had to seek protection from coercive action by the Delhi police. The protection is valid till the next date of hearing on June 22. In his plea, Dr. Khan had asked for urgent relief of protection for arrest and coercive action in, what is, a ‘frivolous’ and ‘motivated’ case. The Police had charged Dr Khan with sedition because he of a social media post where while appreciating Kuwait for standing in solidarity with Indian Muslims, he had emphatically stated that Indian Muslims do not seek or require external help in India. He has always a firm stand of non-interference in India’s internal affairs. His message was then maliciously distorted and falsely broadcasted by trolls, and certain sections of the media. An FIR was lodged against Dr. Khan and he was charged with sedition and for promoting enmity.

As reported earlier, septuagenarian Dr Khan’s is perhaps the only one holding a Constitutional post to be charged under Indian Penal Code section 124 A (sedition) and 153 A (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony). On May 6 evening the police landed up at his doorstep. His lawyer, Vrinda Grover, has issued a statement making Delhi Police aware that their actions are against a senior citizen and the law does not permit them to call him to the police station. 

However, scores of human rights defenders including Safoora Zargar who is pregnant, Gulfisha Fatima, Khalid Saifi, Meeran Haider, Shifa ur Rehman and Sharjeel Imam remain behind bars and have been charged under various acts including the dreaded Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). Delhi Police has also seized the mobile phone of former DU student, human rights defender and lawyer Kawalpreet Kaur.

Delhi Police action against these minority voices of dissent, especially those who participated in the anti-CAA protests, has continued even as the Covid-19 pandemic rages on and a national lockdown is in place.  Safoora in fact has also been a victim of online vilification, character assasination and abuse. It is not known if the Delhi Police has taken any action against those who have been spreading fake news, and feeding vicious social media campaigns against Safoora and others.

Journalists too have been questioned for doing their work. The Press Council of India (PCI) recently issued a statement of concern over Delhi Police’s questioning a journalist from The Indian Express and warning him of criminal prosecution. The PCI has asked the Delhi Police commissioner to submit a report on the matter. "Since the incident matter affects the free functioning of the press, while taking suo-motu cognizance of the matter, a report on facts of the case is being called for from the Commissioner of Police, Delhi," stated the PCI. 

 

Earlier the Editors Guild of India had also slammed the Delhi Police for telling the journalist to join its probe after he had reported that police investigations allegedly found that it was possible that an audio clip of Tablighi Jamaat leader, Maulana Saad, may have been doctored. The reporter was informed that failure to join the probe could result in legal action against him under Section 174 of the IPC ((a prison term and fine). The Guild stated that it was concerned over ‘growing pattern of misuse of criminal laws to intimidate journalists.’

Policing in the times of corona has many tones, depending on who you are

Delhi MP gets away with a ‘scolding’ for spreading rumours, tweeting fake video, but eminent intellectuals, activists, journalists must face the brunt of the law

Parvesh

Delhi Police seems to have merely ‘scolded’ Member of Parliament Parvesh Singh of the  Bharatiya Janata Party for spreading rumours and posting an old video of a Muslims offering namaz together. He had posted on Twitter: “Does any religion permit this kind of act during coronavirus (pandemic)? Lockdown and social distancing norms have been completely destroyed. The maulvis whose salaries have been increased by Arvind Kejriwal — their salaries, if cut, such acts will stop automatically… Or have you taken an oath to destroy .Delhi?"

 

 

 

The visual he shared was from an old video and filmed before the lockdown was announced, and all congregational prayers and gathering banned. Mosques, and Churches, Gurdwaras and temples, across the country had shut down congregational prayers and instructed the devout to pray inside their own homes. Many had begun to conduct the prayer services and rituals online. 

However, the MP representing West Delhi of course did not bother to verify the outdated video and posted it with his acerbic comment, attacking Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for ‘increasing salaries’ of ‘maulvis’ .

As expected, the BJP MPs fake news Tweet targeting Muslims, got enough traction from his followers online, and perhaps some more from his critics. But then the false news Tweet was spotted by Delhi Police’s East Delhi DCP’s Twitter handle, which posted a sharp reply: “This is totally false. An old video is being used with a malicious intent to spread rumours. Please verify before posting and spreading rumours.” 

 

Singh later deleted his tweet, reported The Indian Express and told them that: “Someone sent me the tweet… when I got to know about the authenticity of the video, I deleted it.” The new report also quotes DCP (East) Jasmeet Singh as saying, "The video has been going on for four-five days and I have been telling people that it’s fake. People are aware now. We aren’t taking any action.” 

Interesting to note while the BJP Member of Parliament got away with what appears to be a soft scolding, social media posts and personal opinions of many others have seen Delhi Police take strict actions against the author.

However, Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan, Chairman of the Delhi Minorities Commission had to seek protection from coercive action by the Delhi police. The protection is valid till the next date of hearing on June 22. In his plea, Dr. Khan had asked for urgent relief of protection for arrest and coercive action in, what is, a ‘frivolous’ and ‘motivated’ case. The Police had charged Dr Khan with sedition because he of a social media post where while appreciating Kuwait for standing in solidarity with Indian Muslims, he had emphatically stated that Indian Muslims do not seek or require external help in India. He has always a firm stand of non-interference in India’s internal affairs. His message was then maliciously distorted and falsely broadcasted by trolls, and certain sections of the media. An FIR was lodged against Dr. Khan and he was charged with sedition and for promoting enmity.

As reported earlier, septuagenarian Dr Khan’s is perhaps the only one holding a Constitutional post to be charged under Indian Penal Code section 124 A (sedition) and 153 A (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony). On May 6 evening the police landed up at his doorstep. His lawyer, Vrinda Grover, has issued a statement making Delhi Police aware that their actions are against a senior citizen and the law does not permit them to call him to the police station. 

However, scores of human rights defenders including Safoora Zargar who is pregnant, Gulfisha Fatima, Khalid Saifi, Meeran Haider, Shifa ur Rehman and Sharjeel Imam remain behind bars and have been charged under various acts including the dreaded Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). Delhi Police has also seized the mobile phone of former DU student, human rights defender and lawyer Kawalpreet Kaur.

Delhi Police action against these minority voices of dissent, especially those who participated in the anti-CAA protests, has continued even as the Covid-19 pandemic rages on and a national lockdown is in place.  Safoora in fact has also been a victim of online vilification, character assasination and abuse. It is not known if the Delhi Police has taken any action against those who have been spreading fake news, and feeding vicious social media campaigns against Safoora and others.

Journalists too have been questioned for doing their work. The Press Council of India (PCI) recently issued a statement of concern over Delhi Police’s questioning a journalist from The Indian Express and warning him of criminal prosecution. The PCI has asked the Delhi Police commissioner to submit a report on the matter. "Since the incident matter affects the free functioning of the press, while taking suo-motu cognizance of the matter, a report on facts of the case is being called for from the Commissioner of Police, Delhi," stated the PCI. 

 

Earlier the Editors Guild of India had also slammed the Delhi Police for telling the journalist to join its probe after he had reported that police investigations allegedly found that it was possible that an audio clip of Tablighi Jamaat leader, Maulana Saad, may have been doctored. The reporter was informed that failure to join the probe could result in legal action against him under Section 174 of the IPC ((a prison term and fine). The Guild stated that it was concerned over ‘growing pattern of misuse of criminal laws to intimidate journalists.’

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Why no FIR filed against Anurag Thakur, Parvesh Verma: Court asks Delhi Police

Brinda Karat had moved court after written complaints to SHO and Commissioner failed to elicit any response

06 Feb 2020

Anurag Thakur

The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate has directed DCP, New Delhi to submit a detailed report explain why no First Information Report (FIR) was filed against BJP leaders Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Verma in matters connected with hateful and inflammatory speech. The court was responding to a plea by Brinda Karat, Member of the Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) and K.M.Tewari, Secretary Delhi State Committee.

Karat and Tiwari had written to the Commissioner on January 29 and subsequently on 31, while the letter to the SHO Parliament Street was sent on February 2. In their complaint they had sought filing of FIRs under Sec. 153A/ 153B/ 295A/ 298/ 504/ 505/ 506 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 among 
others against Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Verma. They submitted that three separate incidents of gun violence took place as a direct result of the speeches and comments made by Thakur and Verma. But when the police failed to respond to Karat and Tiwari’s complaint, the duo moved court.

Anurag Thakur, Union Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs, had recently stoked controversy by inciting people to “gun down traitors”. At an election rally, Thakur shouted, “desh ke gaddaron ko” and the crowd responded with “goli maaro s***on ko [shoot the traitors to the country]”. In the video he be seen asking “ye kaun hai gaddar” to which the crowd responds “Kejriwal” and he asks, “Pappu ko bhool gaye?” (Who are these traitors?) (Have you forgotten about Pappu? – reference to Rahul Gandhi).

Singh meanwhile went a step further. In an interview to ANI, he said, "Lakhs of people gather there [Shaheen Bagh]. People of Delhi will have to think and take a decision. They will enter your houses, rape your sisters and daughters, kill them." Verma added, “There's time today, Modi ji and Amit Shah won't come to save you tomorrow." Considering that Shaheen Bagh protests are led by women, this comment sounds bizarre.

 

Why no FIR filed against Anurag Thakur, Parvesh Verma: Court asks Delhi Police

Brinda Karat had moved court after written complaints to SHO and Commissioner failed to elicit any response

Anurag Thakur

The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate has directed DCP, New Delhi to submit a detailed report explain why no First Information Report (FIR) was filed against BJP leaders Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Verma in matters connected with hateful and inflammatory speech. The court was responding to a plea by Brinda Karat, Member of the Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) and K.M.Tewari, Secretary Delhi State Committee.

Karat and Tiwari had written to the Commissioner on January 29 and subsequently on 31, while the letter to the SHO Parliament Street was sent on February 2. In their complaint they had sought filing of FIRs under Sec. 153A/ 153B/ 295A/ 298/ 504/ 505/ 506 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 among 
others against Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Verma. They submitted that three separate incidents of gun violence took place as a direct result of the speeches and comments made by Thakur and Verma. But when the police failed to respond to Karat and Tiwari’s complaint, the duo moved court.

Anurag Thakur, Union Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs, had recently stoked controversy by inciting people to “gun down traitors”. At an election rally, Thakur shouted, “desh ke gaddaron ko” and the crowd responded with “goli maaro s***on ko [shoot the traitors to the country]”. In the video he be seen asking “ye kaun hai gaddar” to which the crowd responds “Kejriwal” and he asks, “Pappu ko bhool gaye?” (Who are these traitors?) (Have you forgotten about Pappu? – reference to Rahul Gandhi).

Singh meanwhile went a step further. In an interview to ANI, he said, "Lakhs of people gather there [Shaheen Bagh]. People of Delhi will have to think and take a decision. They will enter your houses, rape your sisters and daughters, kill them." Verma added, “There's time today, Modi ji and Amit Shah won't come to save you tomorrow." Considering that Shaheen Bagh protests are led by women, this comment sounds bizarre.

 

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For Dubbing Muslims Un-Patriotic, BJP MP Parvesh Verma Faces Complaint: Inciteful Speech

20 Dec 2016
The BJP, never far from using inciteful speech to drum up a Hindu-Muslim divide, especially just prior to any polls, does it again. This time one of it's senior leaders dubbed Muslims as ‘un-patriotic’, BJP MP from West Delhi Parvesh Verma drove the point nastily home. He was reported as having addressed a gathering in Baghpat on Saturday, December 17, stating that Muslims don't -- and never will -- vote for BJP as it is a "patriotic party". To make matters worse, he then asked media persons gathered at the event why all terrorists are Muslims. Verma also said that "no power on Earth" could stop the construction of a Ram Temple in Ayodhya.

Parvesh verma

A petition has been filed with the Election Commission of India (EC), Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Director General of Police (DGP), Uttar Pradesh, and National Minorities' Commission against Verma, the son of Sahib Singh Verma, urging registration of an FIR and prosecution under sections 153, 153A, 153B, 295(A), 298, 505, 505(1)(b) and (c) and 505(2) of the Indian Penal Code. The complaint seeks a ban on Parvesh Verma from campaigning in the forthcoming Uttar Pradesh elections and demands that an FIR be registered against him. Sabrangindia made repeated attempts to contact the Election Commission and was told that Deputy Election Commissioner, Vijay Kumar Dev who is presently on leave would be looking into it at the earliest.

A copy of the complaint filed by Shehzad Poonawalla, a lawyer, activist and Congressman may be read here:

Poonawala Complaint



The complaint also urges the Election Commission to take a firm view of the fact that a responsible parliamentarian is using inciteful speech to drive a wedge between communities and incite violence against Muslims; moreover these statements, the complaint says, are  aimed to cause great public mischief. “The statements are a violation of the Model Code if Conduct laid down by the Election Commission of India and violate section 125 of the Representation of People’s Act (RPA) which prohibits the promotion of enmity between classes in connection with elections and warrants immediate action under the law.”

Moreover, the complaint urges that both the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) and Parvesh Verma are in violation of Section 29A of the RPA. Section 29 A deals with the registration of political parties with the Election Commission and this application of any party under section 29(A)1 must in consonance with section 29(A)(5) commit itself (the political party)to ‘bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India as by law established.’ The complaint states clearly that neither Parvesh Verma nor the BJP subscribe to the principles of secularism and democracy as enshrined in the Indian Constitution.

A seven member constitutional bench of the Supreme Court of India has just recently concluded hearing a batch of petitions on the crucial issue of misuse of religion and how it taints the election process. Awaited is a judgement, twenty years overdue, on what the restrictions on political parties and candidates blatantly misusing religion for political ends must be.

From about March-May 2016, in what appeared to be a clear-cut exercise to create an atmosphere of confrontation and intimidation the RSS offshoot, in the run up to the UP 2017 state elections, the Bajrang Dal has stated training its cadres in the use of rifles, swords and lathis ostensibly to ‘'protect Hindus from non-brothers'  A camp was recently organised in Ayodhya. Similar camps would be held till June 5 in Sultanpur, Gorakhpur, Pilibhit, Noida and Fatehpur. Bajrang Dal is the youth wing of Vishva Hindu Parishad, an off shoot of the RSS and has faced allegations of rioting and violence against the minorities. Sabrangindia had showcased a video, frightening in its depiction, shows the efforts that continue unchecked in Uttar Pradesh (UP). UP is set for state elections early next year and this is a time tested technique of the RSS-led Bharatiya Janata Party to sharply polarise the state polity on communal lines. Then, saffron rage spitting millionaire Baba Ramdev had stunned Indians with his brazen ‘all those who do not utter the word Bharat Mata Ki Jai should be beheaded’ remark. As bad or worse than the remark itself was finance minister, Arun Jaitley’s pathetic ‘Free Speech is Not Hate Speech remark and BJP president Amit Shah’s brazen defence of the Baba. And of course the now typical Narendra Modi’s maun vrat’ (oath of silence)

All in all it’s pathetically clear that the RSS inspired BJP functions on a political bedrock of hatred and division, preparing the ground with polarizing stereotypes. On this sub-soil of inherently anti-Constitutional propaganda comes the rest of the hyperbole: development or 'vikas' or whatever.

The Times of India has today reported that Verma stated that the "Ram Temple will definitely be built. No power on Earth can stop the temple from being built. We are not interested in or worried about vote-bank politics. However, Muslims have never voted for the BJP and they won't do so in the future either. We need to ask why all terrorists are Muslims and why Muslims don't vote for the BJP. The answer is simple. The BJP is a patriotic party and that is why Muslims don't vote for us. We won't be bothered about any community and will build the Ram Temple," Verma said in Baghpat.

He later "justified" his statement and said, "We don't have any problem with the Muslim community but they have problems with us. Muslims prefer to stay away from the BJP and choose to vote for every party except for the BJP. My question was simple. Why is every terrorist a Muslim and why don't they vote for BJP? That is because they don't want to come into the mainstream and join the development process. Mayawati recently said that if Muslims vote for me then I can form the government. It is clear that all other parties see Muslims as a vote-bank. But Muslims don't even want to become a part of the mainstream. Are their children are taught to vote against the BJP in madrassas? Are they incited against our party?"

NCM chairperson Naseem Ahmed told Sabrangindia that internal guidelines of the commission barred the minority commission from attending any complaint that had been sent to multiple authorities.



While Verma, when contacted by the media, refused to comment, the state UP BJP distanced itself from his remarks. "Whatever he has said are his personal opinions and not the view of the party. We are a party that believes in Prime Minister Modi's 'Sabka saath, sabka vikaas' slogan. We want to take everyone along in the development journey. However, everyone who lives in India should respect Bharat Mata," UP BJP vice-president Suresh Rana told TOI.

Minority rights lawyer and Congress leader Shehzaad Poonwalla on Monday filed a petition against Verma in the NCM and sent a copy to the Union home ministry, the Election Commission of India (ECI), UP CM Akhilesh Yadav and DGP Javeed Ahmed.

On Saturday, Verma told reporters after addressing a rally in Baghpat: “Hum kisi votebank ki chinta nahin karte. Muslim kabhi na hamein vote kiya hai na karenge. Ek simple si baat hai, desh mein har atankwadi Muslim kyun hota hai aur Muslim BJP ko vote kyun nahi karta… isliye ki BJP ek rashtrabhakt party hai. Isliye Muslim usko vote nahi karta… Hamein kisi samudai ki chinta nahi hai… Hum Ram Mandir banake rahenge (We don’t care about any votebank. Muslims have never voted for us and they never will. It is a very simple matter.. why is every terrorist in the country a Muslim and why do Muslims not vote for BJP… Because the BJP is a patriotic party, that’s why Muslims don’t vote for us. We don’t care about any particular community. We will build the Ram Mandir).”

For Dubbing Muslims Un-Patriotic, BJP MP Parvesh Verma Faces Complaint: Inciteful Speech

The BJP, never far from using inciteful speech to drum up a Hindu-Muslim divide, especially just prior to any polls, does it again. This time one of it's senior leaders dubbed Muslims as ‘un-patriotic’, BJP MP from West Delhi Parvesh Verma drove the point nastily home. He was reported as having addressed a gathering in Baghpat on Saturday, December 17, stating that Muslims don't -- and never will -- vote for BJP as it is a "patriotic party". To make matters worse, he then asked media persons gathered at the event why all terrorists are Muslims. Verma also said that "no power on Earth" could stop the construction of a Ram Temple in Ayodhya.

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A petition has been filed with the Election Commission of India (EC), Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Director General of Police (DGP), Uttar Pradesh, and National Minorities' Commission against Verma, the son of Sahib Singh Verma, urging registration of an FIR and prosecution under sections 153, 153A, 153B, 295(A), 298, 505, 505(1)(b) and (c) and 505(2) of the Indian Penal Code. The complaint seeks a ban on Parvesh Verma from campaigning in the forthcoming Uttar Pradesh elections and demands that an FIR be registered against him. Sabrangindia made repeated attempts to contact the Election Commission and was told that Deputy Election Commissioner, Vijay Kumar Dev who is presently on leave would be looking into it at the earliest.

A copy of the complaint filed by Shehzad Poonawalla, a lawyer, activist and Congressman may be read here:

Poonawala Complaint



The complaint also urges the Election Commission to take a firm view of the fact that a responsible parliamentarian is using inciteful speech to drive a wedge between communities and incite violence against Muslims; moreover these statements, the complaint says, are  aimed to cause great public mischief. “The statements are a violation of the Model Code if Conduct laid down by the Election Commission of India and violate section 125 of the Representation of People’s Act (RPA) which prohibits the promotion of enmity between classes in connection with elections and warrants immediate action under the law.”

Moreover, the complaint urges that both the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) and Parvesh Verma are in violation of Section 29A of the RPA. Section 29 A deals with the registration of political parties with the Election Commission and this application of any party under section 29(A)1 must in consonance with section 29(A)(5) commit itself (the political party)to ‘bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India as by law established.’ The complaint states clearly that neither Parvesh Verma nor the BJP subscribe to the principles of secularism and democracy as enshrined in the Indian Constitution.

A seven member constitutional bench of the Supreme Court of India has just recently concluded hearing a batch of petitions on the crucial issue of misuse of religion and how it taints the election process. Awaited is a judgement, twenty years overdue, on what the restrictions on political parties and candidates blatantly misusing religion for political ends must be.

From about March-May 2016, in what appeared to be a clear-cut exercise to create an atmosphere of confrontation and intimidation the RSS offshoot, in the run up to the UP 2017 state elections, the Bajrang Dal has stated training its cadres in the use of rifles, swords and lathis ostensibly to ‘'protect Hindus from non-brothers'  A camp was recently organised in Ayodhya. Similar camps would be held till June 5 in Sultanpur, Gorakhpur, Pilibhit, Noida and Fatehpur. Bajrang Dal is the youth wing of Vishva Hindu Parishad, an off shoot of the RSS and has faced allegations of rioting and violence against the minorities. Sabrangindia had showcased a video, frightening in its depiction, shows the efforts that continue unchecked in Uttar Pradesh (UP). UP is set for state elections early next year and this is a time tested technique of the RSS-led Bharatiya Janata Party to sharply polarise the state polity on communal lines. Then, saffron rage spitting millionaire Baba Ramdev had stunned Indians with his brazen ‘all those who do not utter the word Bharat Mata Ki Jai should be beheaded’ remark. As bad or worse than the remark itself was finance minister, Arun Jaitley’s pathetic ‘Free Speech is Not Hate Speech remark and BJP president Amit Shah’s brazen defence of the Baba. And of course the now typical Narendra Modi’s maun vrat’ (oath of silence)

All in all it’s pathetically clear that the RSS inspired BJP functions on a political bedrock of hatred and division, preparing the ground with polarizing stereotypes. On this sub-soil of inherently anti-Constitutional propaganda comes the rest of the hyperbole: development or 'vikas' or whatever.

The Times of India has today reported that Verma stated that the "Ram Temple will definitely be built. No power on Earth can stop the temple from being built. We are not interested in or worried about vote-bank politics. However, Muslims have never voted for the BJP and they won't do so in the future either. We need to ask why all terrorists are Muslims and why Muslims don't vote for the BJP. The answer is simple. The BJP is a patriotic party and that is why Muslims don't vote for us. We won't be bothered about any community and will build the Ram Temple," Verma said in Baghpat.

He later "justified" his statement and said, "We don't have any problem with the Muslim community but they have problems with us. Muslims prefer to stay away from the BJP and choose to vote for every party except for the BJP. My question was simple. Why is every terrorist a Muslim and why don't they vote for BJP? That is because they don't want to come into the mainstream and join the development process. Mayawati recently said that if Muslims vote for me then I can form the government. It is clear that all other parties see Muslims as a vote-bank. But Muslims don't even want to become a part of the mainstream. Are their children are taught to vote against the BJP in madrassas? Are they incited against our party?"

NCM chairperson Naseem Ahmed told Sabrangindia that internal guidelines of the commission barred the minority commission from attending any complaint that had been sent to multiple authorities.



While Verma, when contacted by the media, refused to comment, the state UP BJP distanced itself from his remarks. "Whatever he has said are his personal opinions and not the view of the party. We are a party that believes in Prime Minister Modi's 'Sabka saath, sabka vikaas' slogan. We want to take everyone along in the development journey. However, everyone who lives in India should respect Bharat Mata," UP BJP vice-president Suresh Rana told TOI.

Minority rights lawyer and Congress leader Shehzaad Poonwalla on Monday filed a petition against Verma in the NCM and sent a copy to the Union home ministry, the Election Commission of India (ECI), UP CM Akhilesh Yadav and DGP Javeed Ahmed.

On Saturday, Verma told reporters after addressing a rally in Baghpat: “Hum kisi votebank ki chinta nahin karte. Muslim kabhi na hamein vote kiya hai na karenge. Ek simple si baat hai, desh mein har atankwadi Muslim kyun hota hai aur Muslim BJP ko vote kyun nahi karta… isliye ki BJP ek rashtrabhakt party hai. Isliye Muslim usko vote nahi karta… Hamein kisi samudai ki chinta nahi hai… Hum Ram Mandir banake rahenge (We don’t care about any votebank. Muslims have never voted for us and they never will. It is a very simple matter.. why is every terrorist in the country a Muslim and why do Muslims not vote for BJP… Because the BJP is a patriotic party, that’s why Muslims don’t vote for us. We don’t care about any particular community. We will build the Ram Mandir).”

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