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Relying on IPC, RP Act in absence of law on hate speech: EC to Supreme Court

The Election Commission on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that there is no law on “hate speech” in India and hence it is dependent on the provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

“Hate speech is not defined in India under any extant law… Enacts various provisions of the Act- 1951 to ensure that members of political parties or other persons also do not make statements to the effect of causing enmity between different sections of the society,” the EC said in an affidavit to the SC. told.

The affidavit was filed in response to a plea by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, seeking directions to curb “hate speech”.

The Election Commission pointed out that the issue of “hate speech” during elections was dealt with by the SC in a 2014 case, ‘Migrant Welfare Organization v Union of India’, where the petitioner prayed that the State should take strict action against those involved. needed. In this. The affidavit said the SC had then observed that the implementation of the existing laws would solve the problem to a great extent.

The matter was eventually referred to the Law Commission “to examine ‘if it thinks fit’ to define hate speech” and to make recommendations to Parliament to strengthen the Election Commission “as and when made”. to correct the menace of hate speeches” was sent in the affidavit. added.

However, the Law Commission report made “neither any recommendation with respect to the specific question … whether the Election Commission of India should be empowered to disqualify a political party, to disqualify it or its members.” .. Nor for the offense of hate speech … nor made any recommendation to Parliament to strengthen the Election Commission to curb this menace…,” the Election Commission said.

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