Indian Penal Code

Offences Relating to Religion – IPC 295

Articles 25-30 guarantee citizens freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion. They also guarantee the freedom to manage religious affairs, monetarily contribute to the promotion of any religion, and to set up and administer educational institutions. Let us learn IPC 295 here.


The laws made forced conversion a cognizable offense under sections 295 A and 298 of the Indian Penal Code, which pertains to malicious and deliberate intention to hurt the religious sentiments of others. They attract a prison term of up to 3 years and fine.

The punishment, in some cases, is harsher if the offense is committed against a minor, a woman or an SC or ST person. If the Constitution supports equality, that means every citizen of the country is equal. If he chooses to be a Christian or a Muslim or a Hindu, the law has to treat him the same because religious belief is a fundamental human right and one can’t be discriminated on the basis of one’s choice of religion. This is exactly the principle upon which of the Indian Penal Code is framed.

IPC 295

Offences Relating To Religion

IPC Section Offence Punishment Cognizable or non-cognizable Bailable or non-bailable By what court triable
IPC 295 Destroying, damaging or defiling a place of worship or sacred object with intent to insult the religion of any class of persons Imprisonment for 2 years, or fine, or both Cognizable Non-bailable Any Magistrate
IPC 295A Malignantly insulting the religion or the religious beliefs of any class Imprisonment for 2 years, or fine, or both Cognizable Non-bailable Magistrate of the first class

Defilement Of Places Of Worship

Section 295: Injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion/faith of any class: Whoever destroys, damages or defiles any place of worship or any object held sacred/holy by any class of persons with the intention of thereby insulting the religion of any class of persons or with the knowledge that any class of persons is likely to consider such destruction, damage or defilement as an insult to their religion, shall be punishable with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend up to 2  years, or with fine, or with both.

Section 295 compels individuals to respect the religious susceptibilities of people of various religious persuasions or creeds by creating destruction, damage or defilement of a place of worship or an object held sacred/holy, with the intent to insult the religion, by a class of persons, punishable. Section 297 extends the principle in IPC 295 section to places which are treated as sacred or holy.

It punishes an individual who, with the intent to insult the religion/faith of another or hurt the religious feelings of a person, commits a trespass in any place of worship or of sepulture, or any place of burial or place set apart for burial rites.

Question on IPC 295

Ques. IPC 295 deals with which of the following:

  1. Religion
  2. Property
  3. Divorce
  4. Marriage

Ans. A correct answer is an option (1)

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