Dishonest or indecent statements to a definite religion or caste.....


If any person used abusive words in social site(like Facebook, Twitter)to show disrespect towards a definite religion or caste, then what will be the punishment of that person????
 
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Practising Advocate

Criminal proceedings can be initated  under

IPC Section 153A - Promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony.

IPC Section 505. Statements conducing to public mischief.

 
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Section 295A of IPC provides imprisonment of up to three years for hurting religious sentiments. However the Supreme Court has limited the applicability of the penal provision to deliberate and malicious acts rather than casual observations that are not driven by malicious intent. 

 
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Hi! 

What you are referring to is ordinarily called Blasphemy.

Provisions for punishment for committing it are provided in the Indian Penal Code (IPC): 

1. Section 153A: Whosoever promotes enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc. and does acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to 3 years or with fine or with both.

 

2. Section 295A: Whoever with deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of any class of citizens of India, by words either spoken or written or by signs or by visible representation or otherwise insults or attempts to insult the religion or the religious beliefs of that class, shall be punished with imprisonment of either descripttion for a term which may extend to 3 years or with fine or with both.

 

3. Section 298: Whoever, with the deliberate intention of wounding the religious feelings of any person, utters any word or makes any sound in the hearing of that person or makes any gesture in the sight of that person or places, any object in the sight of that person shall be punished with imprisonment of either descripttion for a term which may extend to one year or with fine or with both.

There are other provisions for blasphemy as well in the IPC, but only these 3 are relevant to what you have described.

So depending upon what charges are framed against the person who has made such comments, he may have to face an imprisonment for any term upto 3 years and/or a fine determined by the Court. But before that, the Court must also convict him of these charges.

Also, the defense of right to freedom of speech and expression (article 19) may not be used here as it is subject to certain exceptions.

I hope this helps.

 
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