Hate speech: SC refuses PIL seeking arrest of Yati Narsinghanand, Jitendra Tyagi

Representative image. Photo: IANS

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday declined to entertain a PIL seeking the arrest of Yati Narsinghanand and Jitendra Tyagi, formerly Waseem Rizvi, for making incendiary and hurtful remarks against Islam, the Prophet, and followers of Islam.

A bench headed by Chief Justice UU Lalit and Justice S Ravindra Bhat said that such a plea cannot be entertained under Article 32 of the Constitution.

The bench told the counsel, representing the petitioner: "You are asking somebody to be arrested and criminally prosecuted under Article 32 plea?... have you filed a complaint?

"If we proceed, then what happens to the Lalita Kumari judgment?"

The counsel submitted that he can drop the prayer seeking arrest and the bench may consider other prayers in the petition.

The bench reiterated: "These are not petitions which cannot be entertained under Article 32."

Dismissing the plea, the bench said the petitioner is at liberty to pursue appropriate remedies.

The petition had also sought a ban on Tyagi's book titled 'Muhammad'. "The book including its cover and contents, is extremely hurtful to the sentiments of the followers of the religion of Islam, is libelous, and incendiary in nature and tend to harm the very fabric of religious unity and harmony in India," said the plea, filed by Indian Muslim Shia Isna Ashari Jamaat.

The plea also sought a direction to restrain Tyagi and Narsinghanand from making 'derogatory, demeaning and incendiary' remarks against Islam, Prophet Mohammed, and icons of the religion.

The plea was filed through advocate Sachin Sanmukhan Pujari and advocate Farrukh Khan.

The petitioner cited several instances where the two had made statements against Islam and attempted to stoke communal passions and controversy and described Tyagi and Narsinghanand as a 'threat to the security and integrity, the social harmony and public peace.

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