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Delhi HC asks police to decide on FIRs against BJP leaders by today

Delhi HC asks police to decide on FIRs against BJP leaders by today

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the police to take "conscious decision" with respect to the registration of FIRs against alleged hate speeches by three BJP leaders — Anurag Thakur, Parvesh Verma and Kapil Mishra — in connection with the CAA violence and convey by Thursday.

Notably, Justice S Muralidhar slammed a Delhi Police officer for saying he had not watched the video in which BJP leader Kapil Mishra issued threats to those protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and played the clip in court. Clips of speeches made by Thakur, Verma and MLA Abhay Verma were also played in court. Thakur and Abhay Verma led crowds to chant "shoot the traitors", while Parvesh Verma accused the peaceful protesters at Shaheen Bagh as "rapists and murderers".

The Bench of Justices Muralidhar and Talwant Singh was hearing a petition, filed by civil rights activist Harsh Mander, that sought FIRs to be registered against three BJP leaders, saying their hate speeches had resulted in the Delhi riots in which more than 20 people have been killed.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and Justice Muralidhar engaged in an animated debate during the hearing, most notably when the former said that the police cannot do anything at the moment because the situation is delicate. He said that FIRs will be "registered at an appropriate stage". Justice Muralidhar responded, saying: "Which is that appropriate stage? After the city has burnt down?"

Mehta reportedly shot back that the city is not burning, "It is only a few areas".

"How many more lives have to be lost, how much property has to be destroyed?" Justice Muralidhar asked, to which SG Mehta requested the court not to get "angry". "This is not anger, this is anguish," the judge responded.

The court also clarified that its orders were not limited to the BJP leaders, but to any leaders who may have made hate speeches.

The high court also issued notices to the parties concerned on the plea filed by the Centre seeking to be impleaded in the case. The matter will be heard further on Thursday.

With agency inputs

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