BY : APARNA RAJESH
There are different cases being taken up by the police on hate speeches and such a case was registered against Kafeel Khan, the controversial personality, who had allegedly made one in Aligarh Muslim University. Kafeel Khan is a doctor and he was the one who was suspended when a number of children died out of shortage in the supply of oxygen in Baba Raghav Das Hospital, Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh. He was arrested then due to his alleged role in the death of 60 children in the hospital. The Uttar Pradesh government accused him of not taking enough actions for preventing the deaths. The government then cleared Kafeel Khan of his charges and hence he sought apology from the state government led by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Now, this suspended doctor has lit another controversy by making a speech in Aligarh Muslim University which was termed ‘inflammatory’ by the government. A First Investigation Report was filed against Kafeel Khan for in Aligarh after his speech in the University during the Anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests. Some also alleged that the accused has made objectionable remarks on Union Home Minister Amit Shah as well.
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Dr. Kafeel Khan, against whom the FIR for hate inciting speech was filed, was arrested while he landed at the Mumbai airport. Special Task Force says that he was remanded for 14 days to judicial custody and was transferred to Mathura jail. The protest that he addressed was held at the Bab-e-Syed Gate outside the Aligarh Muslim University. Here, more than 600 students were protesting against the Act. The incident was held on 12 th of December. The doctor had reached Mumbai to attend a programme held to discuss against the Citizenship Amendment Act demanding the repeal of the Act. Then he was arrested at the airport. After the arrest, he was taken to Mumbai’s Sahar police station. After the arrest had taken place, the accused’s brother has reacted to the incident. He had said that it was alleged that his brother had no faith in the Constitution and that it was wrong which would be proven if his speech that is there in the social media is checked. His brother also said that there is a hidden intention behind his arrest, that is, providing the ruling party BJP an advantage in the upcoming Delhi Assembly election.
QUESTION OF LAW:
Kafeel Khan, who was arrested in Mumbai had to be brought to Uttar Pradesh and for this, the Uttar Pradesh police had obtained transit demand. The UP Special Task Force had arrested him by conducting a joint operation with the Mumbai police. The First Investigation Report was lodged in the police station in Civil Line, Aligarh and hence the accused has to be brought to the place where the case has been registered. The accused is charged for the offence of creating enmity among different groups. The alleged act comes under the section 153A of the Indian Penal Code. According to IPC Section 153 A, whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation, promote enmity between different groups will be held offensive. This is because it harms the harmony and creates hatred among different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities. Here the imprisonment may extend up to three years or will be imposed fine or according to the gravity of the crime, both.
Also, inciting the people or a crowd to use violence as a means to achieve their goal comes under this. Doing such an activity in the places of worship or addressing an assembly of people is also considered as an offence. Such an offence involves the arrest of the convicted and is entitled to be in imprisonment for five years. He or she will be liable to fines too.
Now, whether the doctor is guilty or not will be the subject for inquiry by the concerned authorities. It is up to them to have a scrutiny over the wordings in his remarks and to realize whether the speech is inciting hate or must be subjected to review under the Section 153 A of the Indian Penal Code. What is important is that the citizens or those who are hearing such speeches must be rational enough to evaluate them. Also, on the other side, these provisions in our law cannot be used as a means for oppressing voices against government.