Hate speech-a public interest litigation pertaining to speeches delivered during election campaign, we are afraid, cannot be put on the pedestal of a real public interest litigation. There are laws to take care of it. In the name of a constitutional safeguard entering into this kind of arena, in our convinced opinion, would not be within the constitutional parameters.

Section 298 IPC provides that any act with deliberate and malicious intention of hurting the religious feelings of any person is punishable. However, Section 295A IPC deals with far more serious offences. Furthermore, Section 505(2) IPC provides that making statements that create or promote enmity, hatred or ill-will between different classes of society is a punishable offence involving imprisonment upto three years or fine or both.


Sections 153A and 505(2) of the Penal Code-the law of ‘hate speech’ recognises that all speakers are entitled to ‘good faith’ and ‘(no)-legitimate purpose’ protection. ‘Good faith’ means that the conduct should display fidelity as well as a conscientious approach in honouring the values that tend to minimise insult, humiliation or intimidation. The latter being objective, whereas the former is subjective. The important requirement of ‘good faith’ is that the person must exercise prudence, caution and diligence. It requires due care to avoid or minimise consequences.

The accused no. 1, who was then a Member of Parliament and had allegedly made a hate speech, had later on became the Chief Minister of the State of Uttar Pradesh and thereby, the Executive Head of the State. It is contention of the appellants that in such a situation, it is the Governor of the State who is empowered to consider the question of grant of sanction in terms of the Rules of Business.

we find that the present case cannot be considered to be ‘rarest of rare’ case. In any case, the report of the Probation Officer, Nanded as well as the Superintendent, Nashik Road Central Prison would show that the appellant-Digambar has been found to be well-behaved, helping and a person with leadership qualities. He is not a person with criminal mindset and criminal records.

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