Hindutva is not a religion and insult to it cannot be regarded as a religious insult, submitted Advocate Dr Abhinav Chandrachud before the Karnataka Highcourt while appearing in a case seeking quashing of FIR against a student held for protesting against the CAA in 2019.
‘Hindutva’ can be considered to be a philosophy, a way of life, or even the predominant ideology of a political party. When somebody insults, even perhaps uses abusive language against ‘Hindutva’, that is not an insult to a religion but insult to a political philosophy; thus an offence under Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code is not made out, submitted Dr. Chandrachud.
This submission has been made in defense of a Law Student who had been booked under sections 295-A, 153-A, 143, 149, and 448 of IPC, for allegedly holding an objectionable placard during a protest held against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
In 2019, the student had been protesting against the CAA in Government Arts College, Bengaluru. The FIR was launched by the Principal who claimed that a few students had unlawfully entered the college campus to stage a protest.
The complaint stated that the students were standing holding the placard ‘Fuck Hindutva’ written on it. An FIR stated that this was insulting to religion, and also promoted enmity between two communities.
The student had approached the Karnataka High Court to quash the FIRs.
2019 saw countrywide protests against the Modi government’s discriminatory CAA-NRC Amendments.
The Karnataka Government had mentioned plans to begin the process by January 2020.
The Karnataka government has already built a detention center 40km away from Bengaluru in Nelamangala to house ‘illegal’ migrants. Currently, the Pandemic has bought a temporary pause to the CAA NRC procedures within the state.