25 May Significance of Section 153A IPC and Section 295A of IPC : An analysis in special context to its increasing charges and decreasing conviction rate
Significance of Section 153A IPC and Section 295A of IPC : An analysis in special context to its increasing charges and decreasing conviction rate – Today Current Affairs
Context : recently a Dalit professor of Department of History of Delhi university was arrested with the charge of Significance of Section 153A IPC and Section 295A of IPC (objectionable’ post on the Gyanvapi mosque row.). He was alleged to have promoted disharmony or enmity between religious groups (Section 153A in the Indian Penal Code) and intentionally and maliciously hurt religious sentiments (Section 295A in the IPC).
Today Current Affairs
The Section 153A IPC and Section 295A of IPC are two important sections which are in consideration among the law experts and the intellectuals . As per the report provided by the National Crime Records Bureau. The use of these sections increased exponentially during some years (After 2014, the numbers of the book cases with such sections increased almost four times ). But it does not mean that the incidents of hurtful comments increased at the same pace . In fact it decreased . The conviction rate in those cases is below 21% (20.4%) as per the data provided by the National Crime Bureau . However there is no data available for the separate sections 295 .
Legislative History of These sections : The Hindu Analysis
The objective of the Section 153 A is to punish persons who indulge in wanton vilification or attacks upon the religion, race, place of birth, residence, language etc of any particular group or class or upon the founders and prophets of a religion. The offense is a cognizable offense and the punishment for the same may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.
This section of IPC was already there when in 1927, Section 295A was brought on the demand of a religious minority community . Actually , the objective of this section was to book any of the British opponents on the allegation of destruction of communal harmony . This section was introduced to appease Muslims so that British policy of Divide and Rule could be implemented easily during that time . However the Assembly members found it a temporary remedy for a temporary aberration. But this is serving that these colonial laws are still there in IPC and are being issued for political benefits .
The significance of section 295A : The Hindu Analysis
It is described in the way that through this section the spirit of tolerance amidst religious diversity can be safeguarded. But the reality is that this section has been misused by the police to stop the voice of honest interpretation of religious history , any historical data based on religion , historical research and the social reforms. IOf there are some antisocial elements in the religious practices, or if there are some evil religious practices which are not appropriate in the modern era should be evaluated , but in this case this section may be also used .
However , there must be the need of such provision in the IPC through which communal harmony can be enacted but there are some unnecessary sections in IPC made during colonial period to fulfill the interest of the British rule , those sections must be revives and removed. The Hindu Analysis
However these sections are significant because communal harmony can be protected through these sections but , our Judiciary must be more efficient in This regard . Judiciary should check whether the speech could create communal conflict or not, whether the speech hurts the majority of the people of a particular community or not . Then definitely the section153 is relevant . but the significance of section 295 A lies in the careful evaluation of the offense .
Unlike other crimes, it is very difficult to check whether the speech would warm the sentiments of any community or any single person . The subjectivity of this section reduces its significance
A critical inquiry of orthodox practices and superstitious beliefs encourages social reforms. an intelligent evaluation is required much more amid the aggressive assertion of religious beliefs by the socio-political hegemon. Even the 1927 Joint Select Committee appreciated the argument that a religious insult inflicted in good faith, with the object of steering reform, would bring the follower’s required attention to the critique. The Hindu Analysis
India is a diversified country and there is the guarantee of free speech in the Indian constitution but reliable restrictions are imposed on these rights. The use of this section would discourage the people /intellectuals to bring any rational inquiry
Today Current Affairs
On the basis of the above discussion , it can be said that , in a democratic and a plural country , everybody has the right to free speech and expression but those free speech should not hurt the sentiment of the minorities or any other community . In this regard several provisions are there in IPC through which any offender can be punished but the question is whether the use of such sections are not being done to crush the voice of any opponent . In fact , if in any section of the IPC , the conviction rate is less than 50 %, our legislature should revise all those sections , and such responsibilities must be fixed for the investigating agencies to increase the conviction rate. If the investigating agencies fail to prove the charges / sections imposed on the accused , must be fined at least .
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