IPC Sec 295A: Dealing with Hate Speech and Blasphemy

  Jul 30, 2022

IPC Sec 295A: Dealing with Hate Speech and Blasphemy

Q What is the context  ?

A The debate surrounding the comments by some political spokespersons has put the spotlight on the IPC Sec 295A which deals with criticism of or insult to religion.

Q What is Section 295A?

Q What are the provisions to penalise religious offences ?

A Section 295A is one of the key provisions in the IPC chapter to penalise religious offences. The same chapter includes offences to penalise:

  1. Damage or defilement of a place of worship with intent to insult the religion (Section 295)
  2. Trespassing in a place of sepulture (burial) (Section 297)
  3. Uttering, words, etc, with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person (Section 298) and
  4. Disturbing a religious assembly (Section 296)

Q  What is the background of the law ?

Q What is the frequency of  its use ?

Q What about online hate speech?

Q What are issues with such laws ?