New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Centre to apprise it of steps it has taken to make hate crimes and racial violence punishable under the Indian Penal Code.
"Incorporation of law has to be done by Parliament. Government of India has to take steps. Parliament will not draft legislation", the social justice bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and U U Lalit said.
The court's observation came when Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh, appearing for the Centre, said that the amendment to the IPC as recommended by the M P Bezbaruah committee has to be done by Parliament.
The bench, which has been hearing a batch of PILs filed last year following several incidents of hate crimes in Delhi against persons hailing from northeast, also said that India had signed the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination way back in 1965.
The Bezbaruah panel was set up by the Ministry Home Ministry (MHA) on February 5, 2014, to suggest "suitable remedial measures" which could be taken in the wake of attacks on the people from the Northeast in Delhi and other parts of the country including the death of youth Nido Tania, a student from Arunachal Pradesh.
Arunabh Chaudhary, appearing for petitioner Karma Dorjee and others, today said the Bezbaruah panel has recommended changes in the IPC to curb and punish incidents of racial violence targeting people from Northeast region.
Earlier, the court had asked the ASG to "take instructions on the progress made on the Report and what the Government of India proposes to do with regard to the issues pertaining to alleged racism in the country."
The court had issued notice to the Centre and all states on PILs seeking its direction to them to frame guideline to protect the people from Northeastern states in various parts of the country against alleged racial discrimination.
The petitions alleged that people from Northeastern region, who move out of their states in search of better opportunities for studies and jobs, were subjected to racial taunts and violence on a daily basis due to their physical appearance at the hands of people of their own country.