calcutta high court
Calcutta High Court: While dismissing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking a direction refraining a private respondents from making hate speeches and offending religious sentiments of the public, a Division bench of T. S. Sivagnanam, CJ., and Hiranmay Bhattacharyya, J., while held that the law already offers adequate remedies for addressing petitioner’s grievances, i.e. hurting the religious sentiments of people and causing damage to the fabric of the society by certain individuals’ speeches.


In the instant matter, based on newspaper reports and a notice from a solicitor firm addressed to the Chief Secretary on 09-06-2023, the petitioner, Nazia Elahi Khan, preferred a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking a direction against the private respondents to refrain from making hate speeches that offend religious sentiments and potentially harm the societal fabric.


The Court observed that the petitioner had not conducted significant research and that adequate legal remedies existed to address grievances related to affected sentiments caused by certain speeches.


While dismissing the writ petition, the Court opined that the reliefs sought for in the PIL cannot be granted, as the petitioner’s claims were not adequately substantiated. The Court further emphasized that the law already provided sufficient avenues for redressal of grievances arising from offensive speeches.


[Nazia Elahi Khan v. State of W.B., 2023 SCC OnLine Cal 2207, order dated 31-07-2023]

Advocates who appeared in this case: 

Mr. Ranojoy Chaterjee and Ms. Ankita Roy, Counsel for the Petitioner;

Mr. Samrat Sen, Ld. AAAG, Mr. T.M. Siddique, Mr. Amritalal Chatterjee, Counsel for the State;

Mr. Sanjay Basu, Mr. Piyush Agarwal, Ms. Utsha Dasgupta, Ms. Shrivalli Kajaria, Counsel for the Respondent No. 6.

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