Can Merely Referring to Feelings of One Community or Group Without Any Reference to Any Other Community Amount to Hate Speech?

Author: Utkarsh Singh; Amity University, Lucknow


Amid enormous political, social, and conservative perspectives, the world is seeing a fight against one another through words. It will not say that the occasions aren’t far when another sort of war will begin by this discourse through online media and parties. Dehumanizing and stigmatizing are new weapons of the general public which they use to embarrass one individual over mass level. Individuals nowadays have confused the term opportunity of articulation with disdain discourse. Accessibility of online media has offered individuals enough chance and freedom to introduce their place of perspectives on a thought or an individual.

Hate is a feeling which we as a whole face eventually in our lives. Hate Speech has acquired its prevalence in exceptionally ongoing occasions when broad communications have become a most celebrated wellspring of getting out the word. Presently a-days the most ideal approach to hurt somebody’s standing to cause individuals to endure is HATE SPEECH. When made at a mass level can demolish individuals’ life, their plans like not many talks given by the pioneer at the hour of CAA which prompted riots.


While discourse that may ‘offend’[1] another individual or a gathering may not be liable to criticism under worldwide law, hate speech stays an exemption for this. The thought of Hate speech alludes to a ‘wide range of incredibly bad talk extending from scorn and instigation to contempt; to oppressive articulation and denunciation; and too outrageous types of bias and bias[2].

Subsequently, hate speech has been perceived and addressed in a few prime archives identified with common freedoms. for instance, as indicated by the ICCPR[3]:

“Any promotion of public, racial, or religious hatred that establishes induction to discrimination, aggression or viciousness, will be precluded by law”

The idea of hate speech has not been given a uniform verbalization, and is to a great extent reliant upon how networks, governments, or global associations see the idea of ‘Hate Speech’. By and by, it isn’t without basic highlights. Hate Speech is by and large comprehended to portray types of discourse impelling savagery, contempt, or victimization of others or gatherings, with specific reference to their identity, strict conviction, sex or sexual direction, language, public beginning, or migration status[4]. One more component of disdain discourse is that they are to a great extent explanatory in nature, conjuring contempt through stimulating the feelings of individuals. The substance of Hate Speech may not be exact as far as realities or history. All things considered, the attention is on collecting a passionate reaction through misdirecting realities and forceful discourse.

There is a small difference separating free speech and hate speech, bringing about much discussion. What one individual may see as one’s opportunity to express one’s conflict with another individual or gathering, an individual influenced may see as comprising hate speech.

Numerous nations, nonetheless, have received enactment denouncing hate speech. The reasoning behind such judgment comes from the way that hate speech ruins the practicing of one’s crucial opportunities and essential basic liberties. Numerous fanatic gatherings utilize scornful language to prompt disdain and sensations of viciousness in the personalities of their supporters, which frequently lead to occurrences of outrageous brutality. Besides, hate speech produces dread in the personalities of minorities, debilitating their opportunity to connect uninhibitedly in the public arena. It obliterates the ethos of citizenship and conjunction.


Bombay High Court: In a dubious case, wherein an FIR had been recorded against the petitioner, Sunaina Holey[5] for supposedly making scorn and hostility between various strict networks, the Division Bench involving M.S. Karnik and S.S. Shinde, JJ., held that,

“The right to express one’s views is a protected and cherished right in our democracy. Merely because the point of view of the Petitioner is extreme or harsh will not make it a hate speech as it is only expressing a different point of view.”

The Petitioner had been reserved under Section 153A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 for her “Tweet” which she had posted on the online media site on 14-04-2020.

Truly, in the video reposted by the solicitor an individual from the group was seen reprimanding the Prime Minister of India for the episode of the Covid-19 pandemic. It was the remnants of the candidate that the Petitioner was not the creator or the maker of the said video and that, no argument had been enlisted against the person(s) who made the said video. The Petitioner was discontent with this perspective and reposted the video to censure something similar.

Amish Devgan v. Union of India[6]

The two-judge seat comprising of justice AM Khanwikar and Sanjeev Khanna on seventh December 2020 conveyed the judgment on account of Amish Devgan which was presented when the FIR was enlisted against news18 anchor Amish Devgan for utilizing the term ‘Lootera Chishti’ in one of his shows. Furthermore, the court would not suppress the FIR enlisted yet has allowed break security to the anchor against capture. The conditions being his joining and co-working during the time spent examination till it is finished. In the judgment, the court likewise characterized ‘hate speech’ which stays extremely hard to characterize, and laid accentuation on the direct ‘affectation toward brutality’ which is culpable and a significant part of hate speech. The court additionally set down fifteen focuses on prominent specialists on hate speech. The court likewise held that opportunity and rights can’t advance the individuals who advance insite savagery. And it was further stated by the court that merely referring to feelings of a community or a group without any reference to any other community or group is not hate speech.


Whenever it was discovered that there has been an impedance with the ability to speak freely for which the court received a triple examination to decide if the obstruction is authentic or not and if it adds up to loathe discourse.

Three overlap investigation is as per the following:

a.         Whether the impedance is endorsed by the law or not[7]?

b.         Whether the impedance has an authentic in or not?

The court in Handyside versus the United Kingdom[8], said that that the limitations which are forced by the state on the opportunity of articulation should be relative to the authentic point convinced.

c.         Whether the impedance is needed for the general public or not?


The right to speak freely of discourse is a significant piece of the majority rule society. In Shreya Singhal versus Union of India[9], the separation between disdain discourse, discourse, conversation, promotion, and induction was closed. the court held that any discourse must be restricted on the grounds of notice in article 19(2).

Every one of the talks climate hostiles or not will be covered under article 19(1). the models were set to distinguish disdain discourse:

  1. The limit of the speech: Any discourse to qualify as abhor discourse, should be hostile in the limit structure. Although each hostile assertion can’t be considered as disdain discourse, the articulations and conversation of any delicate and disagreeable issue are unprotected by the constitution.
  2. Incitement: In the Shreya Singhal case[10], it was said that the discourse should be demonstrated affected to be limited. Joined State Supreme Court additionally says that the up-and-coming danger to untamed activity should be confined. Hate Speech regularly crosses the way of two idea freedom and uniformity[11], however, the two of them are corresponding and intends to give freedom to the more fragile segment of the general public to venture forward and present their thoughts and perspective concerning any new approach or any new plan.
  3. The status of the creator of the speech: The situation of the creator of the discourse assumes an imperative part in deciding the discourse’s lawfulness that is why the impedance with the opportunity of articulation of a lawmaker is called the shut investigation by the court.[12]
  4. Status of the casualty of the speech: Determine if the speech is hate speech, it is vital to see the perspective of the casualties to decide the degree of harm.
  5. Potentiality of the speech: The speaker’s perspective can be decided by the effect of the discourse on the general public, the harm caused to the general public[13]. It when the real rationale of the speaker is known.
  6. context of the speech: Context of the discourse is vital with regards to choose whether the speech is a hateful speech or not[14]; each disdainful discourse can’t be considered as disdain discourse subsequently the setting in which the assertion is made is fundamental to decide reasonability of it in this manner the setting of the assertion assumes an extremely indispensable part in deciding if the discourse is to be considered as a hate speech or not.


Hate speech is a subject of banter due to its scholarly nature. Since hate speech is considered a piece of article 19 right to speak freely and articulation, it is extremely hard to separate it from solid discourse. The hate speech can be controlled contrastingly, so it gets hard to condemn it under the arrangements in IPC because of which to indict the disdain discourse charges becomes troublesome with regards to the court.

After concentrating on each part of hate speech and the right to speak freely of discourse and articulation it very well may be said that there is a need to amend and fortify the previous laws and overhauling the disciplines for it. Hate speech has become a widespread issue these days in light of the web accessibility to everyone at a tremendous level; it is reachable to each agreement of the general public.

To ensure that it doesn’t influence the general public and doesn’t harm or malign any individual’s standing and convictions, there is an immense need of having a straightforward framework. Speech that spreads viciousness and segregation dependent on a few angles could be punished. To battle against hate speech, we require a more extensive stage where everything can be talked about straightforwardly, and the result could be drawn out of it, as it is a battle that can’t be battled alone. “Raise voices not Hate“.

[1] See Handyside v the United Kingdom (5493/72) [1976] ECHR 5

[2] Jacobs JB, Potter K, Hate Crimes: Criminal Law and Identity in Politics (Oxford University Press, New York) 11

[3] International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 19

[4] See, Recommendation No. R(97)20 on ‘hate speech’ adopted October 1997 by Committee of Ministers of Council of Europe

[5] Sunaina Holey v. State of Maharashtra; Criminal Writ Petition No. 4732 of 2020

[6] Amish Devgan vs Union of India; 7 December 2020; WRIT PETITION (CRIMINAL) NO. 160 OF 2020

[7] Delfi AS v. Estonia, Application no. 64569/09 (2015)

[8] Handyside v. the United Kingdom, Application no. 5493/72(1976).

[9]AIR 2015 SC 1523

[10] Supra 9.

[11] Police Dept. of City of Chicago v. Mosley, 408 U.S. 92 (1972)

[12] 4Incal v. Turkey, Application no. 41/1997/825/1031 (1998)

[13] Ramesh v. Union of India,

[14] Bobby Art International v. Om Pal Singh Hoon, AIR 1996 SC 1846