Case title: Saint Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Insan v. State of Punjab and another
CORAM: HON’BLE MRS. JUSTICE MANJARI NEHRU KAUL
Judgment pronounced: 30.10.2023
Petitioner : Abhishek Sanghi, Jitender Khurana
Respondent : Navraj Singh
The High Court of Punjab and Haryana has canceled the FIR charged in hostile to Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh claimed for damaging the spiritual sentiments of Sant Kabir Das and Guru Ravidas’ Devotees.
FIR was charged regarding the discourse of Satsang organized by Ram Rahim in the year of 2016. He claimed to be associated with Sant Sant Kabir Das and Guru Ravidas with liquor and prostitution.
Facts of the case
The council for the petitioner stated that the necessary ingredients to constitute an offense under Section 295A of the IPC, are: intent to outrage religious feelings and a deliberate malicious intent to insult the religious beliefs of a particular community, which is absent in the case.
Later it was added that Adverting to the instant case and considering the aforementioned interpretation of the provisions of Section 295A of the IPC, this Court would be obligated to meticulously examine the entirety of the discourse which was delivered by the petitioner.
On the contrary, the council from the state stated that it would be essential that the analysis of the discourse delivered by the petitioner is undertaken in conjunction with various historical texts where the incident regarding Sant Kabir Das is detailed. It would also be crucial to examine whether the petitioner while delivering the discourse in question, distorted or twisted the historical texts to intentionally hurt the sentiments of the followers of Sant Kabir Das and Guru Ravidas
Analysis of the court
After examining the historical references of the discourse produced the Court opined that there is no evidence of any distortion or misrepresentation within the incident relating to the life of Sant Kabir Das.
The Court also noted that the complainant while lodging the FIR had selectively extracted disconnected segments of Rahim’s speech and presented them without proper context.
The court contended that the discourse was delivered in 2016 and no complaint was received on this issue for seven years before a complaint was made in 2023.
the Court quashed the FIR stating that, “On a comparison with various books and historical texts, particularly the discourse in question, it is evident that neither is there any mens rea on the part of the petitioner nor any distortion or exaggeration of the incident about Sant Kabir Das and Guru Ravidas, to such an extent, that it could have offended their followers.
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