The Court’s Duty
HATE SPEECH: it refers to words whose intent is to create hatred towards a particular group, that group may be a community, religion or race. This speech may or may not have meaning, but is likely to result in violence.
- Viswanathan Committee 2019:
It proposed inserting Sections 153 C (b) and Section 505 A in the IPC for incitement to commit an offence on grounds of religion, race, caste or community, sex, gender identity etc.
- Bezbaruah Committee 2014:
It proposed amendment to Section 153 C of IPC (promoting or attempting to promote acts prejudicial to human dignity), punishable by five years and fine or both.
Some Cases Related to Hate Speech:
- Shreyal Singhal vs UOI declared void sec 66A of IT Act 2000 on the grounds that restrictions on art 19(1) were arbitrary and vague. However, it upheld sec 69 of IT Act to ensure reasonable restriction on speech.
Legal Position of Hate Speech:
Under Indian Penal Code:
Sections 153A and 153B of the IPC: Punishes acts that cause enmity and hatred between two groups.
Section 295A of the IPC: Deals with punishing acts which deliberately or with malicious intention outrage the religious feelings of a class of persons.
Sections 505(1) and 505(2): Make the publication and circulation of content which may cause ill-will or hatred between different groups an offence.
- Pravasi sangathan vs UOI the SC defined hate speech as an effort to marginalize individuals based on their membership in a group.
- The court has laid down that the root cause of hate speech is not the absence of laws but rather ineffective implementation.
- SC also has widened the scope of art 21 to recognize the right to life and liberty and thus has protected victims of hate speech.