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Implead EC as party: Apex Court on hate speech plea

Implead EC as party: Apex Court on hate speech plea
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New Delhi: The Supreme Court Friday permitted a petitioner, who is seeking direction to the Centre to examine international laws and take effective and stringent steps to control hate speech and rumour-mongering in the country, to implead the Election Commission as a party in the matter.

The Apex Court, which posted the matter for hearing on May 19, granted liberty to petitioner to serve a copy of the petition to the standing counsel for concerned respondents.

A bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and J B Pardiwala was hearing a plea, filed by lawyer and BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay in his personal capacity, which has alternatively sought a direction to the Centre to take apposite steps to implement recommendations of the Law Commission Report-267 on hate speech.

Upadhyay requested the bench to issue notice to EC in the matter. "How Election Commission is concerned with this issue," the bench asked. Upadhyay said hate speech frequently happens during the model code of conduct during the election period.

The bench told the petitioner that he has not made EC a party in his plea. He urged the bench to allow him to serve a copy of the petition on the EC.

"At the oral request made by the counsel for the petitioner, the petitioner is permitted to amend the cause title so as to implead the Election Commission of India as a party respondent," the bench said.

At the outset, the bench observed that petitions raising the issue of hate speech and hate crime would come up for hearing on May 19 and the plea filed by Upadhyay would also be heard on that day.

We are not on a particular incident. We are seeking implementation of Law Commission report 267, the petitioner

said.

The bench observed it would be relevant for the other matter also which would come up for hearing on May 19.

When the petitioner raised the issue of hate speech at the time of election, bench observed that regime should be same on hate speech irrespective of election period.

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