A court in New Delhi on Monday directed Delhi Police to lodge an FIR against Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray for allegedly branding Muslims from north India as insurgents and threatening them to throw out of the state.
The court said it was "primary and bounden duty of the police to register FIR and proceed with investigation" but the authorities have "failed to discharge" their primary duty.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sameer Bajpai's order came on a complaint by advocate Mithilesh Kumar Pandey who referred to a rally in Mumbai addressed by Thackeray, in which he allegedly blamed Muslims from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand for the August 11, 2012 violence during protests against the Assam riots.
"Considering the entire facts and circumstances, SHO, police station Dwarka is directed to immediately register and FIR upon the present complaint under relevant provisions," the court said, while asking the compliance report by April 4.
The lawyer in his complaint has said that the accused in his political rally had repeatedly targeted these immigrants and even declared them as "insurgents" and also threatened them to be thrown out of Maharashtra.
He further told the court that by the hate speech, the accused has prompted, disharmony and feelings of enmity, hatred, or ill-will between different communities particularly belonging to northern India on grounds of place of birth, residence, language, caste and community etc and has also insulted the particular community.
He said that Thackeray in his speech had told that assaulters had come from UP, Bihar and Jharkhand and due to them violence was likely to further take place in Mumbai.
Pandey also said that due to such kind of speeches of accused, sentiments of the people have been hurt. The complainant informed the court that he has even requested the police to lodge a case against the accused, but it was declined on the ground that since all the incidents had taken place in Mumbai and there in also no connecting evidence so it cannot take action.
Allowing the plea, the court said that "the grounds taken by the police for non registration of the FIR are not tenable.
"Registration of an FIR involves only the process of entering the substances of the information relating to the commission of the cognisable offence in a book kept by the officer in charge of the police station...
"It is the duty of the officer in charge of the police station to register the FIR regarding the cognizable offence disclosed by the complainant because that police officer could take further steps contemplated...," ACMM Bajpai said.
The judge in his five-page-order further said that lack of supporting material with regard to the allegations made in the complaint is no ground for non registration of the FIR.
"The collecting of evidence is the part and parcel of investigation which can be done only after the registration of FIR. The complainant can not be expected to collect the evidence and incriminating material in support of his allegation and hand over the same to the police," the court said.