Hurting Religious Feelings | Turban an essential religious symbol: Photographing an elderly person in injured condition without turban and circulating it on social media: Is it an offence? P&H HC decides

Punjab and Haryana High Court

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Noting the incident of prima facie hurting of religious feelings, Anupinder Singh Grewal, J., dismissed the anticipatory bail of a person who video graphed a man without turban aged 65 years old who was beaten up repeatedly and his video was circulated on social media.

Petitioner sought anticipatory bail in FIR registered under Sections 323, 341, 506, 148 of Penal Code (offences under Sections 295-A and 149 IPC and 66-E of the Information Technology Act, 200 added later on), 1860.

Counsel for the petitioner contends that aforenoted sections are bailable and prima facie case under Section 295-A would not be made out in as much as DSP in the inquiry has stated that the allegations of hurting the religious feelings of the complainant are not made out.

Counsel for the complainant contended that the turban of the complainant who was 65 years of age had been removed and he was repeatedly beaten up and abused. The said incident was video-recorded and uploaded on Facebook.

Analysis, Law and Decision

Bench noted that the turban of the complainant who was 65 years old was taken off and he had been repeatedly beaten up.

Petitioner and other accused video graphed him without the turban when he was bleeding and the same had been uploaded on Facebook.

The turban is an essential religious symbol and photographing of an elderly person in an injured condition without the turban and uploading it for public viewing on a social platform would prima facie amount to hurting the religious feelings.

In view of the above observation, the Court disagreed with the contention of the petitioner’s counsel that a prima facie case under Section 295-A IPC was not made out.

Petition was dismissed while not granting anticipatory bail. [Gurpreet Singh v. State of Punjab, 2021 SCC OnLine P&H 2285, decided on 28-10-2021]


Advocates before the Court:

Mr Amit Arora, Advocate for the petitioner.

Mr Dhruv Dayal, Senior DAG, Punjab.

Mr Vikas Gupta, Advocate for the complainant.

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