Allahabad HC denies relief to man who mocked Hindu deity - Hindustan Times
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Allahabad HC denies relief to man who mocked Hindu deity

ByJItendra Sarin, Prayagraj
Apr 19, 2024 10:10 PM IST

The court said it is incumbent upon judiciary to send a clear message that such conduct will not be tolerated

While rejecting a petition filed by one Owais Khan who mocked Lord Shiva on social media, the Allahabad high court on Friday said such acts not only cause emotional distress but also undermine the foundational values of our democratic society.

The court said such acts not only cause emotional distress but also undermine foundational values of our democratic society. (For Representation)
The court said such acts not only cause emotional distress but also undermine foundational values of our democratic society. (For Representation)

The court further said it is incumbent upon the judiciary to send a clear message that such conduct will not be tolerated and will be met with appropriate legal consequences. Justice Prashant Kumar dismissed a petition filed by Khan who had challenged the charge sheet filed against him.

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The court said, “In a democratic society, such as ours, where freedom of speech is held in high regard, it is imperative to understand that this freedom is not absolute. It comes with responsibilities, foremost among them being the obligation to respect the sentiments and beliefs of others.”

“The misuse of freedom of speech to denigrate or insult religious beliefs undermines the very fabric of constitutionalism and fundamental human belief upon which our society is built,” it said.

“The principle of secularism, enshrined in our Constitution, underscores the importance of fostering an environment of mutual understanding and acceptance among individuals holding diverse beliefs and identities. The secular fabric of our nation demands individuals to exercise restraint and refrain from actions that may cause harm or offence to any religious community,” the court observed.

While emphasising Article 51A of the Constitution of India, the bench observed, “It is the fundamental duties of every citizen, including the duty to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic, and regional or sectional diversities.”

“In a society that values religious pluralism and mutual respect, it is incumbent upon individuals to exercise prudence and refrain from actions that may cause unwarranted offence or hurt the sentiments of others, particularly in matters as sensitive as religious beliefs and practices,” the court said while dismissing the petition.

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