A Delhi court Wednesday dismissed a plea by CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat seeking an FIR against Union minister Anurag Thakur and his BJP colleague and MP Parvesh Verma for their alleged hate speech in relation to anti-CAA protest at Shaheen Bagh. Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vishal Pahuja rejected the application saying requisite sanction from the competent authority, the central government, was not obtained which was required under the law.
CPI (M) leaders CPM leaders Brinda Karat and KM Tewari had filed the complaint seeking a direction to the Parliament Street Police Station to register an FIR against Thakur and Verma. The court said that the complaint was not sustainable without the prior sanction.
“Admittedly, there is no previous sanction obtained by the complainants from the competent authority to prosecute the respondents for the offences alleged in the complaint. Hence… the complaint deserves to be dismissed being not tenable in the eyes of law. Accordingly, same stands dismissed,” it said. Karat had told the court in her complaint that “Thakur and Verma had sought to incite people as a result of which three incidents of firing took place at two different protest sites in Delhi.” The complaint had sought lodging of FIRs under various sections, including 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc.), 153-B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration) and 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of the IPC.
It had also sought action under other sections of the IPC, including 298 (uttering, words, etc., with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation). The maximum punishment for the offences is jail term for seven years.
Karat approached the court after her written complaints to the Commissioner of Police and the SHO, Parliament Street, failed to elicit any response. She had told the court that she had written to the commissioner on January 29 and subsequently on 31, while the letter to the SHO Parliament Street was sent on February 2.
The CPI (M) leader had mentioned that at the Rithala rally in Delhi, Thakur, the minister of state for finance and corporate affairs, had on January 27 egged on the crowd to raise an incendiary slogan – “shoot the traitors” – after lashing out at anti-CAA protesters. In the application, she had mentioned that Verma had on January 28 allegedly made incendiary comments against the anti-CAA protesters in Shaheen Bagh.