in image court and order illustration
Justice HP Sandesh, in a plea filed by a woman against two Christian men, claiming that they dishonored her religion by stating that only Christ can provide Peace of Mind, dismissed the plea and stated that:-"No fundamental right is conferred on any religion to degrade the other religion....I have already pointed out that while professing any religion, the religious heads or professing by any person should not degrade other religion,"
Under Section 295A (outraging religious feelings and insulting religion), read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code, the police have registered the case.
And at the time of filing the charge sheet, they invoked the offense under Section 298 (uttering words to hurt religious feelings), read with Section 34 of IPC.
By an order dated 8 June 2020, the magistrate acknowledges the same.
On approaching the high court, the accused contended that the action of the State was violative of fundamental rights Articles 14, 21, and 25 of the Constitution of India. The complaint was lodged after 3.5 yrs of the incident.
But the court denied the delay in complaint rather than it was a delay in filing the charge sheet.
"It is rightly pointed out by the learned counsel for the complainant that no fundamental right is given to any religion to degrade other religions. In the case on hand, the specific allegation against the petitioners is that they have degraded the other religion," the order said.
Also, the court added that no fault was found by investigating officer invoking offense under section 298 of IPC.
"No doubt, while setting the law in motion invoked Section 295(A) of IPC regarding deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs and after the investigation, the Investigating Officer invoked Section 298 of IPC uttering, words, etc. with deliberate intention to wound the religious feelings of any person. Having taken note of the complaint averments and also the statement of witnesses, with deliberate intention to wound the religious feelings of other religion words are uttered while propagating. When such being the facts of the case, it attracts Section 298 of IPC. Hence, the contentions of the learned counsel for the petitioners that the charges levelled against the petitioners does not attract Section 298 of IPC and issue of process against the petitioners would vitiates Articles 14, 21 and 25 of the Constitution of India, cannot be accepted."
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