New Delhi: The Election Commission of India (ECI) has filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court saying that there is no clear law regarding hate speech. The commission said the existing law was not appropriate. The apex court was hearing a petition filed by BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay.
Expressing helplessness before the court, the ECI said that if a party or its members give speeches in hate language, then there is no legal right to withdraw the recognition of a political party or disqualify its members.
The Election Commission has filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court saying that there is no clear law on hate speech and the present law is not effective.
The commission urged that the Supreme Court should pass appropriate orders in the matter as the Law Commission, in its 267th report, has suggested that necessary amendments should be made in the criminal law with regard to hate speech.
The issue of hate speech comes up many times during elections, but these leaders easily get away with legal arguments.
In a counter affidavit filed in response to a PIL seeking measures to curb hate speech, the ECI said the supreme court had referred the query to the Law Commission of India in the case of Pravasi Kalyan Sangathan vs Union of India (2014).
The question was asked that if a party or its members use hate speech, then the Election Commission should be empowered to disqualify it or its members, cancel the recognition of a political party.
The commission said that the 267th report of the Law Commission of India did not answer this question of the court.