POINTERS ON ONGOING CASE: HARSH MANDER (SOCIAL ACTIVIST)

Supreme Court to hear Delhi Police’s contempt plea against social activist Harsh Mander

  • According to Delhi Police, Mander’s speech not only instigated violence but also brought disrepute to the judiciary.
  • The Supreme Court on Friday (March 6) will hear the case related to the speech given by social activist Harsh Mander, in which he allegedly said that he doesn`t have faith in the judiciary. The Delhi Police on Wednesday had filed an affidavit in the top court seeking the initiation of contempt of court proceedings against the activist for his alleged “derogatory remarks” against the SC and its judges.
  • According to the police, Mander’s speech not only instigated violence but also brought disrepute to the judiciary. In a six-page affidavit, Rajesh Deo, Deputy Commissioner of Delhi Police, Legal cell had claimed that Mander had instigated people to violence.
  • The affidavit said, “It is submitted that I have come across a video clip showing Harsh Mander delivering a speech which is not only instigating the violence but is also seriously contemptuous as it makes derogatory remarks against the Supreme Court of India to a huge gathering of people.” 
  • It further submitted, “This clip is freely available on social media. Harsh Mander is known for taking contemptuous stand and bringing the judiciary, as an institution and individual judges to disrepute.” 
  • While hearing the pleas filed by Harsh Mander demanding registration of FIR against BJP leaders who gave provocative speeches during Delhi riots, the Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered that Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and Mander file a reply in the top court by Friday.
  • Meanwhile, the top court on Thursday denied a request of senior advocate Colin Gonsalves to intervene in the proceeding initiated against the social activist over his alleged remarks. 
  • A bench of Chief Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde asked Gonsalves to stay out of proceedings being initiated against Harsh Mander. Advocate Gonsalves said that he was the counsel of Mander in Delhi High Court and wants to put on record transcripts of speech, to which CJI Bobde said that Solicitor General Tushar Mehta has already given the transcript.
  • Mehta had mentioned the alleged video of Mander during a hearing on Wednesday saying he (Mander) is seen calling on the people of India to streets for “real justice” and expressed no faith in the courts.
  • “If this is what he (Mander) feels about the court then we have to decide how to deal…,” CJI Bobde had said. 
  • Advocate Karuna Nandy, appearing for Mander, had said that his client did not make such a statement.
  • Notably, the Supreme Court on Wednesday directed Delhi High Court to hear on Friday the PIL filed by Delhi violence survivors seeking registration of FIR against political leaders over their hate speeches, which allegedly led to the riots in the national capital.
  • At least 50 people, including IB officer Ankit Sharma and Police Head Constable Rattan Lal, had died while around 200 people sustained serious injuries in the violence that raged for three days in north-east Delhi last week.