BNS 302: Religious Sentiments and the Law – Know Your Rights

Section 302 BNS (BNS 302)
Section 302 BNS (BNS 302)

In a diverse society like India, where people from different backgrounds live together, it is important to respect each other’s beliefs. India, with its rich culture, recognizes the importance of maintaining religious harmony through its legal framework. One such provision under the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS) is section 302 BNS (BNS 302).

What is Section 302 BNS?

In a multicultural society like India, where people of different religions live together, it is important to maintain mutual respect and understanding. Section 302 BNS (BNS 302) acts as a deterrent against actions that can potentially disrupt communal harmony and peace.

Section 302 BNS addresses situations where someone deliberately intends to hurt the religious feelings of another person. It covers a range of actions:

  1. Uttering Words: Any spoken word that is intended to wound the religious feelings of another.
  2. Making Sounds: This includes any noise or sound made with the deliberate intent to insult someone’s religious beliefs.
  3. Gestures: Actions or movements that are meant to offend religious sentiments when done in the sight of the concerned person.
  4. Placing Objects: Putting any object where it can be seen by someone with the purpose of insulting their religious feelings.

Understanding the Intent

The core of Section 302 BNS lies in the intention behind the action. It’s not just about the act itself but the deliberate intent to hurt someone’s religious sentiments. This distinguishes it from unintentional actions or harmless expressions.

What Constitutes an Offense?

To be considered an offense under BNS 302, the following conditions must be met:

  • Deliberate Intention: The person must have intended to wound the religious feelings of another.
  • Direct Impact: The words, sounds, gestures, or objects must be within the sensory perception of the offended person (heard, seen, or in their immediate nearby).

Read: Section 302 BNS Bare Act

Punishment Under Section BNS 302

The Section 302 BNS (BNS 302) provides for punishment that include imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or a fine, or both. The severity of the punishment depends on the discretion of the court, considering the nature and gravity of the offense.

Section 302 BNS (BNS 302) acts as a safeguard to protect the religious sentiments of individuals from deliberate and malicious attacks. By respecting each other’s beliefs and sensitivities/sensibilities, we contribute to a more harmonious and inclusive society. Understanding and following such legal provisions not only ensures justice but also promotes a culture of tolerance and respect for diversity.

Is Section 302 BNS Bailable or Non-Bailable?

Section 302 BNS (BNS 302) is considered a bailable offense. Bailable offenses are those where the accused has the right to apply for bail and it is generally granted as a matter of right or at the discretion of the court.

Is Section 302 BNS Cognizable or Not?

Section 302 BNS (BNS 302) is non-cognizable. Non-cognizable offenses are those for which a police officer cannot arrest an accused person without a warrant issued by a magistrate. In such cases, a police officer requires the permission of the court to proceed with the investigation and arrest.

Is Section 302 BNS Compoundable or Not?

Section 302 BNS (BNS 302) is compoundable. Compoundable offenses are those where the complainant (the person who has filed the case) can enter into a compromise with the accused, and the case can be withdrawn with the permission of the court.

References:
1) BNS Bare Act
2) BNS