Union Home Ministry Soon to Have a Definition of Hate Speech

    28-May-2021   
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The Union Home Ministry will soon have a comprehensive definition of what constitutes hate speech.
 
The panel tasked with defining hate speech is soon expected to submit the report to the ministry.
 
The Committee for Reforms in Criminal Laws, which was set up to suggest the comprehensive changes in the Indian Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code, is working to define the term hate speech.
 
The Hindu reported this on Wednesday.
 
It quoted G S Bajpai, Chairperson of the Criminology Centre at Delhi’s National Law University and one of the members of the committee, “Who will decide what constitutes a hate speech? Legally speaking, for criminal Sections to be invoked, any such speech has to lead to violence or disturbance of law and order. We will refrain from using the word ‘hate speech’ as it is a loaded term, merely criticising someone is not hate speech.”
 
The Union Home Ministry’s Bureau of Police Research and Development defines hate speech as language that denigrates, insults, threatens or targets an individual based on their identity and other traits (such as sexual orientation or disability or religion etc.).”
 
The Bureau has defined hate speech in its manual for investigating agencies.
 
Earlier, an attempt was made to define hate speech for digital platforms. But, in absence of a comprehensive definition, it’s difficult for the investigating agencies to identify and prosecute the offenders.