The Karnataka High Court in a judgement of Precilla D’souza V. State Of Karnataka ruled that no fundamental right is bestowed on any person advocating faith in a particular religion to degrade other religions and dismissed the plea filed by two Christians accused of insulting the holy textbook of other religions such as Quran and Bhagavad Gita. The complaint was registered by the police after a woman by name of Madhura approached them claiming that the petitioners came to her house and stated that only Jesus Christ could provide peace of mind which no other religion could ever provide and also stated that only the Bible could foresee the future that no other religious scripts could provide such insights.
The case was heard by a single bench of Hon'ble Justice HP Sandesh, he said that the religious head and religious preachers should not degrade the other religion while promoting their religious belief. The plea moved before the court, sought to quash the FIR and grant such other relief accordingly. The court stated that no fundamental right is conferred on any religion to degrade the other religion and denied the prayer sought by the petitioners.
The petitioners were booked under the offence punishable under Section 295A read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code. However, after completing the investigation police invoked Section 298 which read as uttering words to hurt religious feelings along with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code. The petitioners contended that the state infringed their fundamental rights protected under Articles 14, 21 and 25 in our Indian Constitution. It was also pointed out that a complaint about the said incident was made after three and a half years. The counsel representing the complainant argued that no fundamental right grants a right to degrade other religious belief.
"It is rightly pointed out by the learned counsel for the complainant that no fundamental right is given to any religion to degrade other religions. In the case on hand, a specific allegation against the petitioners is that they have degraded the other religion," HC stated.
"Having taken note of the complaint averments and also the statement of witnesses, with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of other religious words are uttered while propagating. When such being the facts of the case, it attracts Section 298 of IPC. Hence, the contentions of the learned counsel for the petitioners that the charges levelled against the petitioners does not attract Section 298 of IPC and issue of process against the petitioners would
vitiates Articles 14, 21 and 25 of the Constitution of India,
cannot be accepted", HC added.
The High Court rejected to quash the complaint made against the petitioners.