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Indian Polity

Hate Crime

  • 27 Mar 2021
  • 4 min read

Why in News

Recently, the Supreme Court (SC) quashed Hate Crime proceedings initiated against a senior journalist for a Facebook post.

  • The SC ruled that petitioners' social media post was only an expression of truth in the face of persecution.

Key Points

  • Background:
    • The decision came in Petitioners appeal against the Meghalaya High Court’s refusal to quash the proceedings against her under Sections 153a (hate), 500 (defamation) and 505(c) (incite a community or caste to commit an offence against another) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
      • Section 153a:
        • Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony.
        • It shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to five years and shall also be liable to fine.
      • Section 505c:
        • With intent to incite, or which is likely to incite, any class or community of persons to commit any offence against any other class or community.
        • It shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.

Hate Crime

  • About:
    • Hate crime refers to criminal acts which are motivated by bias against an individual or social group because of certain differences, majorly in their religious practices and customs.
    • In contemporary times its meaning has proliferated beyond lynching, discrimination and offensive speeches and now encompasses speech that is insulting, derogatory or incites and violence.
    • In totality, Hate Crimes could be defined as an attack on a person’s rights entrusted to him thereby affecting not only him but the social structure as a whole which in many ways makes it more heinous than many other Criminal Offences.
    • Most common grounds of hate speech are race, ethnicity, religion or class.
  • Hate Crime in India:
    • Hate Crime in India is defined in terms of the harm done to a community at large rather than an individual’s right to freedom of speech and expression and the harm done as a result of hate speech.
    • In India, hate speech is prohibited which is based upon religion, ethnicity, culture or race.
  • Indian Laws Against Hate Crimes:
    • Though the term is nowhere mentioned in any statute, its different forms are identified across the laws.
    • The IPC under Sections 153A, 153B, 295A, 298, 505(1) and 505(2)25 declares that word, spoken or written, that promotes disharmony, hatred, or insults on basis of religion, ethnicity, culture, language, region, caste, community, race etc., is punishable under law.
    • Some other laws which contain provisions concerning hate speech and its prevention are:

Source:TH

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