Today, Dr Abhinav Chandrachud before Karnataka HC argued that,
“Hindutava is an ideology or a political philosophy and cannot be termed as religion and insult to hindutava does not mean religion insult at all”, while appearing a case seeking quashing of FIR.
He submitted this while seeking to quash two First Information Reports (FIR) registered against a law student, who is booked u/s 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 at the Government Arts College, Bengaluru.
He submitted that ‘Hindutva’ can be considered to be a philosophy, a way of life, or even 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 u/s 295A of the IPC is not made out.
In regards to sec 153 A, he argued that mere insulting of one community does not leads to sec 153A, as it states that there should be at least two communities.
He argued that, no offence had been committed u/s 153A & 295A of IPC.
In Dec, 2019 the FIR based on a complaint registered by a principal of Government Arts College, Bangalore putting allegations against few students that they have unlawfully assembled in the college premises and protested against Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019.
It was mentioned in the FIR that some were displaying the placards which had Fuck Hindutva written on them. FIR put an allegation that, the messages displayed on the placards was amounted to promote enmity between communities and religious insult issue.
It was raised before the court that the message of Fuck Hindutva invokes Section 153A and Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code.
On 31st January 2020, Session court granted anticipatory bails to those individuals. Later, she approached the High Court, seeking the quash of FIR and the council argued that the FIR constitutes an abuse of process as the petitioner was not present at the site of the protest in question.
It was also argued in the another day of proceeding that the petitioner was present at institute for attending another event which was organised by petitioner only. The petitioner has clearly mentioned in the petition that principal has named some students who were allegedly holding the placards and the name of the petition was not mentioned in the FIR Copy.