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section 153A , 292 and 295a


APEX in Ramji Lal v. State of U.P. , Section 295A does not penalise any and every act of insult to or attempt to insult the religions or religious belief of a class of citizens, which are perpetuated with the deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of that class. Insult to religion offered unwittingly or carelessly or without any deliberate or malicious intention to outrage the religious feelings of that class are not encompassed by the provision. It only punishes the aggravated form of insult to religion when it is perpetrated with deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of that class. It is obvious that one who alleges malicious and deliberate act on the part of another has to prove it. It would also be necessary to consider as to what act could be said to have been done maliciously. Malice in common acceptation means ill will against a person, but in this legal sense it means a wrongful act, done intentionally, without just cause or excuse. A man acts maliciously when he willfully and without lawful excuse does that which he knows will injure another in person or property. the term maliciously denotes wicked, perverse and incorrigible disposition. It means and implies an intention to do an act which is wrongful to the detriment of another. Where any person willfully does an act injurious to another without lawful excuse he does it maliciously. Whether a person has acted corruptly or maliciously is a question of fact and must be proved prosecution.

Section 153-A IPC punishes (a) the act of promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, caste, community or any other ground, and (b) acts prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony between different groups or castes or communities if the acts disturb the public tranquillity. The object of Section 153-a is to prevent breaches of the public tranquillity which might result from excited feelings of enmity between classes of people. Absence of malicious intention is a relevant factor to judge whether the offence is committed. It can be said to be promoting enmity only where the written or spoken words have the tendency or intention of creating public disorders or disturbances of law and order or affect public tranquillity. mens rea has to be proved for proving commission of the offence. (See. Balwant Singh v. State of Punjab )

In Ramesh Chotalal Dalal v. Union of India & Others [AIR 1988 SC 775], this Court held that TV serial "Tamas" did not depict communal tension and violence and the provisions of Section 153A of IPC would not apply to it. It was also not prejudicial to the national integration falling under Section 153B of IPC. Approving the observations of Vivian Bose, J. in Bhagvati Charan Shukla v. Provincial Government [AIR 1947 Nagpur 1], the Court observed that the effect of the words must be judged from the standards of reasonable, strong-minded, firm and courageous men, and not those of weak and vacillating minds, nor of those who scent danger in every hostile point of view. It is the standard of ordinary reasonable man or as they say in English Law, "the man on the top of a clapham omnibus". (reiterated in Manzar Sayeed Khan vs State Of Maharashtra & Anr on 5 April, 2007)

Again in Bilal Ahmed Kaloo v. State of A.P. [(1997) 7 SCC 431], it is held that the common feature in both the Sections, viz., Sections 153A and 505 (2), being promotion of feeling of enmity, hatred or ill-will "between different" religious or racial or linguistic or regional groups or castes and communities, it is necessary that at least two such groups or communities should be involved. Further, it was observed that merely inciting the feeling of one community or group without any reference to any other community or group cannot attract either of the two Sections.

Delhi High Court

The Trustees Of Safadar Hashmi ... vs Govt Of Nct Of Delhi on 16 July, 2001

FACTS - Ram Katha in buddhist tradition and Jain tradition displayed in the banner of the Safdar Hasmi Memorial Trust @ Sahmat were held to have been published, circulated and displayed with deliberate and malicious intention to insult or attempt to insult religious belief of a particular community and also that these posters promote or attempt to promote on the ground of religion, disharmony or feeling of enmity between different religions/communities which act is an offence punishable under Section 153-A and Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.the Government of NCT of Delhi has declared every copy of the aforesaid posters and material containing the above-said objectionable material forfeited to the Government.

Court held - "there is no material to show application of mind, and on the contrary the concerned authority has merely acted as a rubber stamp. Everything was pre-designed, pre-determined. It is to be noted that except saying that a large section of the community (without indicating which community) was likely to be incensed, there is no indication regarding existence of requisite ingredients of Section 153-A and Section 295A IPC."

Calcutta High Court

Chandanmal Chopra And Anr. vs State Of West Bengal on 17 May, 1985

The petitioners have, in this petition, quoted some passages from the English translation of Koran and thereafter made the following averments : --