November 8, 2023
Statue of Lady Justice

India is a secular nation, and the Preamble, Article 25, Article 26, Article 27, Article 28, Article 29 as well as Article 30 of the Indian Constitution all uphold the secularism principle. India’s Constitution guarantees religious freedom. The provisions for offenses related to religion are covered by the Indian Penal Code.

In addition, the RJS Coaching institute’s experts discuss that, the state must make sure that people’s religious convictions do not incite animosity, conflict, or violence of any kind among one another. The Indian Penal Code’s Chapter XV is supposed to assist the State in preserving and advancing religious harmony throughout the nation.

Legislations Pertaining to Offenses Against Religion

The different legislations pertaining to offenses against religion that are discussed by various RJS Coaching institute experts are as follows:

  • Section 295: Indian Penal Code

Anyone who defiles, damages, or destroys a place of worship or an object that is sacred to a particular class of people with the intent to offend that class’s religion, or knowing that that class is likely to view such defilement, damage, or destruction as an insult to their religion, faces the possibility of serving a two-year sentence in either type of jail, a fine, or both.

Punishment: It is penalized with imprisonment that extends to two years, a fine, or both if anybody enters a place of worship, a place of burial, or a location designated for funeral rituals with the goal of offending someone else’s religion or beliefs or offending someone’s religious sentiments.

  • Section 295A: Indian Penal Code

This Section stipulates that anyone who intentionally and maliciously uses words (spoken, written, shown visually, or through other means) to disparage the religion or religious sentiments of any class of Indian citizens is prohibited from doing so.

Punishment: A person will be found guilty and punished with a fine, a term of imprisonment that may exceed three years, or with both.

  • Section 296: Indian Penal Code

The section on “Disturbing religious assembly” is covered. Any individual who intentionally disrupts a gathering of people who are legitimately participating in religious events.

Punishment: In accordance with this Section, an individual may be held accountable and punished by a fine, a period of imprisonment up to one year, or both.

  • Section 298: Indian Penal Code

This Section states that anyone who engages in the following behaviors with the specific aim to offend someone else’s religious sensibilities will face consequences.

Punishment: A person will be penalized by a fine, a term of imprisonment specified in the description that may go up to a year, or both.

Section 295 of IPC: Important Ingredients

Importance of Intention & Knowledge

  • It is a necessary component for Section 295 of the IPC to hold someone accountable for the offense.
  • It is crucial that the perpetrator intends to desecrate, ruin, or harm a house of worship or an item that has been designated as sacred by any faith.
  • Section 295 does not hold someone accountable if there is no malicious intent to cause offense to someone’s religious sentiments.
  • This Section does not consider it offensive to just defile a place of worship. The case’s facts and circumstances determine whether or not there was an intention to offend.

Importance of Destruction, Damage or Defilement

  • The meaning of these terms should be interpreted as causing property to become filthy, unclean, or foul.
  • It encompasses more than just materially or physically harming the property; it also includes actions that could degrade the area’s natural nature.
  • The term “defilement” refers to instances in which a sacred object or place of worship is ritually or impurity-coated, in addition to physical devastation.

Section 296 of IPC: Important Ingredients

This section provides further security for assembly worship. It does not include private devotion. If a religious assembly doesn’t obstruct the public’s normal usage of the streets, it is considered legal.

  • A gathering that is authorized and conducting religious rituals or worship.
  • Such a gathering and ceremony ought to be authorized.
  • An accused person is the source of any kind of disruption.
  • The accused’s actions have to be voluntary.

Role of the Judiciary: Offenses Pertaining to Religion

  • In the case of Jan Mohammed v Narain Das, the mosque’s old building materials and debris were removed by the accused because they were decaying and the mosque had stopped being used. Because the accused had no purpose of disparaging the Mohammedan faith or any of its adherents, he was found not guilty under these clauses. Additionally, he was unaware that his acts would offend or harm members of any class of people.
  • In the case of Joseph v State of Kerala, a court order gave the accused lawful possession of a cabin situated on agricultural land. People utilized this hut as a house of worship. After seizing control, the accused demolished the hut and removed the images of the Hindu gods. Section 295 was the charge against him. The High Court cleared him, ruling that he was free to use the land anyway he wanted and that he had no intention of offending anyone’s religious beliefs.

India is a secular nation, and our Indian Constitution as discussed by various experts in RJS Coaching institute guarantees each and every Indian the “right to religion.” No one has the right to disparage the religious convictions of another person or any sacred object. The Indian Penal Code mentions penalties if someone does this.

Leave a Comment