Question: What are the offences relating to religion? Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites.  [What are the offences relating to religion?] Answer Chapter XV of the IPC, which deals with offences relating to religion, is framed on the principle that every person has full freedom to follow his own religion and that no… Read More »

Question: What are the offences relating to religion? Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [What are the offences relating to religion?] Answer Chapter XV of the IPC, which deals with offences relating to religion, is framed on the principle that every person has full freedom to follow his own religion and that no one is justified to insult the religion or religious feelings of another. The chapter ostensibly helps the state in maintaining religious harmony in...

Question: What are the offences relating to religion?

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [What are the offences relating to religion?]

Answer

Chapter XV of the IPC, which deals with offences relating to religion, is framed on the principle that every person has full freedom to follow his own religion and that no one is justified to insult the religion or religious feelings of another. The chapter ostensibly helps the state in maintaining religious harmony in the country.

The chapter contains five sections—sections 295, 295A, 296, 297 and 298. The offences under this chapter can be broadly classified into the following three divisions:

  • Defilement of places of worship or objects of veneration (sections 295 and 297);

Section 295 makes destruction, damage or defilement of a place of worship or an object held sacred, with intent to insult the religion, by a class of persons, punishable. It compels people to respect the religious susceptibilities of persons of different religious persuasion or creeds.

While section 297 extends the principle of section 295 to places that are treated as sacred. It punishes a person who, with intent to insult the religion of another or hurt religious feelings of a person, commits trespass in any place of worship or of sepulture, or any place of burial or a place set apart for the performance of burial rites, or offers and dignity to a human corpse or disturbs funeral rites.

The essential ingredients of the sections are (i) intention or knowledge; (ii) destruction, damage or defilement of (a) a place of worship; (b) a place of veneration; or (iii) an object held sacred; (iv) Trespass into (a) a place of worship, (b) a place of sepulture, or (c) a place set for performing funeral rites or a depository of remains of the dead, or trespass with intent to: (a) indignity to the human corpse, or (b) disturb funeral rites.

  • Outraging or wounding the religious feelings of persons (sections 295A and 298);

Both these sections (sections 295A and 298) of the IPC deal with acts that are done deliberately with an intent to outrage, wound or insult the religious feelings of persons. Section 295A deals with ‘deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage the religious feelings or insult the religious beliefs or religion of a class of citizens, while s 298 makes ‘deliberate’ acts of verbal or visible representation intending to wound religious feelings of another punishable.

  • Disturbing religious assemblies (section 296).

Section 296. Disturbing religious assembly.— Whoever voluntarily causes disturbance to any assembly lawfully engaged in the performance of religious worship, or religious ceremonies, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.

The essential ingredients of this section are:

  1. there must be an assembly that is engaged in the performance of religious worship or religious ceremony;
  2. such assembly and performance of religious ceremony should be lawful;
  3. the accused must cause disturbance to such assembly, and
  4. the accused must do so voluntarily.

Under this section, special protection is given to congregational worship. This section does not cover individual worship. A religious procession may be regarded as a lawful assembly engaged in the performance of religious worship. It, however, should not interfere with the ordinary use of the streets by the public or contravene any traffic regulations or lawful directions. Such regulation does not amount to disturbing the religious assembly. Thus, any disturbance caused to a religious procession will be an offence under this section.

In Mohammud Khan v. Emperor AIR 1949 Nag 132, it was held that where a mosque is abetting on a highway, going in a procession with music at a time when prayer is going on in the mosque, will be an offence, as such music will necessarily disturb the congregation engaged in the prayer.


Important Mains Questions Series for Judiciary, APO & University Exams

  1. IPC Mains Questions Series Part I: Important Questions
  2. IPC Mains Questions Series Part II: Important Questions
  3. IPC Mains Questions Series Part III: Important Questions
  4. IPC Mains Questions Series Part IV: Important Questions
  5. IPC Mains Questions Series Part V: Important Questions
  6. IPC Mains Questions Series Part VI: Important Questions
  7. IPC Mains Questions Series Part VII: Important Questions
  8. IPC Mains Questions Series Part VIII: Important Questions
  9. IPC Mains Questions Series Part IX: Important Questions
  10. IPC Mains Questions Series Part X: Important Questions
Updated On 2021-07-16T18:24:16+05:30
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