The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a PIL seeking its direction to restrain politicians from indulging in "provocative and hate speeches", saying that it cannot curtail people's fundamental right to free speech.
"We cannot curtail the fundamental rights of the people. It is a precious right guaranteed by Constitution," a bench headed by Justice R M Lodha said, adding, "We are a mature democracy and it is for the public to decide."
The court said that it is a matter of perception and a statement objectionable to a person might not be normal to another person.
"We are 128 million people and there would be 128 million views. One is free to not accept the view of others," the bench said.
The petitioner, advocate M L Sharma, contended that various politicians indulge in hate speech to secure political mileage in their favour and they must be restrained from doing so.
Image: BJP leader Varun Gandhi, who was acquitted in a hate speech case