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Friday, December 3, 2021

What is Delhi’s Peace and Harmony Committee which has summoned Kangana Ranaut?

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The committee was constituted in March 2020 following the riots in the Capital. Recently, the committee grilled Facebook India officials for the social media platform’s failure in curbing hateful content which led to the riot. 

Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut has been summoned by Delhi Assembly’s Peace and Harmony Committee on December 6 over her recent Instagram posts that the actor tweeted after PM Modi announced the decision of repealing the three contentious farm laws. This committee is headed by AAP MLA Raghav Chadha. Recently this committee summoned a Facebook India executive and grilled him for the social media’s alleged role in failing to curb the hateful content that led to the riots in the Capital in 2020.

What is the committee all about? The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of NCT of Delhi had constituted the committee in 2020 March. The object of the committee is to recommend suitable measures to restore harmony among religious communities, social groups etc. When teh committee was formed, it was reported that a fact-checking agency would be hired to assist the committee in checking the authenticity of the content. The committee also has the assistance of a team of lawyers and a team of IT experts.

 

The power of the committee is not uncontested as Facebook had moved the Supreme Court challenging the summons of the committee. In its verdict this year, the Supreme Court said the committee has the power to compel the attendance of members and outsiders on grounds of its privilege. “Although law and order and police do not fall under the legislative domain of Delhi Assembly, in the larger context, the concept of peace and harmony goes much beyond that,” the Supreme Court said.

How is Kangana’s case related to this committee? In the notice sent to the actor, the committee said that it has received numerous complaints against the Instagram post of Kangana where the actor labelled the Sikh community as ‘Khalistani terrorists’. The comments have caused distress among the people from the Sikh community, thus potentially leading to a situation of disruption of peace and harmony in the NCT of Delhi, the notice said.

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