The Delhi police on Monday told the Supreme Court that its investigation in a case of hate speeches made at religious assemblies in the national capital in 2021 was "substantially completed" and a final probe report would be filed shortly.
Taking note of the submissions of additional solicitor general KM Nataraj, appearing for the Delhi police, that the probe was almost over and the charge sheet would be filed soon, a bench comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justice PS Narasimha and Justice JB Pardiwala said it would hear the case after three weeks.
The hate speech case is related to a Hindu Yuva Vahini event organised in Delhi under the leadership of Suresh Chavhanke, the editor of Sudarshan News, in December 2021.
The top court, meanwhile, asked the Delhi police to file an affidavit giving details of the steps taken by them in the case so far.
At the outset, solicitor general Tushar Mehta pointed out to the bench that Justice Narasimha had appeared as a lawyer in one of the connected matters.
The law officer also referred to a separate similar plea filed against the Sudarshan News TV channel on the issue of hate speeches and urged that the matter be listed together for hearing.
The CJI said that it could be pointed out later.
Lawyer Shadan Farasat, appearing for activist Tushar Gandhi, said the police had not taken any concrete steps to prevent such hate speeches.
On January 13, the apex court posed a volley of questions to the Delhi police over the delay in registration of FIR and "no palpable progress" made in the investigation of a case of hate speeches made at religious assemblies in the national capital in 2021 and had sought a report from the investigating officer.
"What are you doing in terms of investigation? The incident took place on December 19, the FIR was registered actually five months later on May 4, 2022. Why do you require five months to register an FIR?" the bench had observed.
"What have you done? How many arrests have been made? How many people have you examined?" it asked.
The additional solicitor general had said the Delhi police did not commit any contempt of the Supreme Court judgement in the Tehseen Poonawala case in which several directions were given to effectively deal with hate crimes.
He had said, moreover, Gandhi could not "dictate" how the probe agency should proceed.
The top court was hearing a contempt petition filed by Gandhi alleging inaction by the Uttarakhand police and the Delhi police in alleged hate speech cases.
On November 11 last year, the bench had discharged the Uttarakhand government and its police chief from a list of parties to the contempt plea.
The contempt petition was filed seeking punishment for the police chiefs of Delhi and Uttarakhand for their alleged inaction in the cases in violation of the apex court judgement in the Tehseen Poonawala case.
In the judgement, the top court had laid down guidelines as to what action needed to be taken in hate crimes, including mob lynching.
In his petition, the activist sought contempt action against senior police officials for not taking any steps in accordance with the top court's guidelines meant to curb hate speeches and mob lynching.
The plea claimed immediately after the events took place, the speeches were available in public domain but still the Uttarakhand Police and the Delhi Police did not act against the offenders.
The hate speeches were made at the 'dharma sansad' held in Haridwar from December 17 to 19, 2021 and in Delhi on December 19, 2021, the petition alleged.