Section 153A of the IPC was interpreted by Supreme Court where the court held that the term ‘public tranquility’ must be read in a restricted sense synonymous with public order and safety and not normal law and order issues that do not endanger the public interest at large.
Section 153A(b) penalizes an act ‘which is prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony between different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities, and which disturbs or is likely to disturb the public tranquillity’.
“Public Order in clause (2) to Article 19 nor the statutory provisions make any distinction between the majority and minority groups with reference to the population of the particular area though as we have noted above this may be of some relevance. When we accept the principle of local significance, as a sequitur we must also accept that majority and minority groups could have, in a given case, reference to a local area.”
Justices AM Khanwilkar and Sanjiv Khanna referred to the case of the Bombay High Court in Gopal Vinayak Godse v. Union of India and said that enmity or hatred is not a necessary ingredient of the offence, the court also said that deliberate and malicious intention is necessary.
Amish Devgan v Union of India. WP (CRIMINAL) NO. 160 OF 2020