Noting that courts cannot curtail people's fundamental right to free speech, the Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking direction to restrain politicians from indulging in "provocative and hate speeches".
"We cannot curtail fundamental rights of people. It is a precious right guaranteed by Constitution," a bench headed by Justice RM Lodha said. "We are a mature democracy and it is for the public to decide,” the bench added.
The apex court said a statement objectionable to a person might be normal to another because it was a matter of perception.
"We are 128 million people and there would be 128 million views. One is free not accept the view of others," the bench said.
The petitioner, advocate ML Sharma, had contended that politicians indulged in hate speech for securing political mileage and they must be restrained from doing so.