New Delhi, March 4: Contempt proceedings should be initiated against activist Harsh Mander for his derogatory remarks against the Supreme Court, the Delhi Police told the top court Wednesday. In an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court, the police said the activist’s speech in question not only incited violence but was seriously contemptuous, as it made derogatory remarks against the top court before a huge gathering of people.
The affidavit was filed in response to the top court’s order Wednesday morning after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta raised the issue of the activist’s speech at an anti-CAA gathering during a hearing of a clutch of petitions on the Delhi violence.
The judges declined to hear Harsh Mander’s petition on the matter, asking his lawyer to clarify the remarks first. The court also asked for a transcript of Harsh Mander’s speech.
“You made statements against the Supreme Court. We will not hear you now… If this is what Harsh Mander feels about the Supreme Court, then we will have to decide on that first,” Chief Justice of India SA Bobde said, referring to Mr Mander’s speech during an anti-CAA protest in January, where he allegedly made derogatory comments against the top court.
The video in question shows Harsh Mander’s speech to students at Jamia Millia Islamia on December 16.
In it, Harsh Mander is heard saying: “This is a fight for the soul of our Constitution – which is love and fraternity. This battle can’t be won in parliament, because the parties which call themselves secular have no moral courage left to fight. This battle can’t be won in the Supreme Court, because we have seen that over some time, in the cases of NRC, Kashmir and Ayodhya, the Supreme Court did not protect humanity, equality and secularism. We will try (to fight) there as well, because it is our Supreme Court. But the matter cannot be resolved in parliament or the Supreme Court. The decision on what kind of future you wish to give your children — that decision can be taken on the streets, and, where else — in our hearts. If we respond to hatred with hatred, it will only increase hatred. If someone is spreading darkness, we have to light a lamp.”
The police affidavit went on to say that Harsh Mander is known for taking a contemptuous stand and bringing the judiciary as an institution, and individual judges, to disrepute. The Delhi Police asked that exemplary fine be imposed on Harsh Mander, besides contempt action against him.
Harsh Mandar will have to file his reply by Thursday and the case will be taken up on Friday.