What is Section 153A IPC?

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153A. Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony —
(1) Whoever—
(a) by words, either spoken or written, or by signs or by visible representations or otherwise, promotes or attempts to promote, on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, caste or community or any other ground whatsoever, disharmony or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities,
(b) commits any 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,
(c) organizes any exercise, movement, drill or other similar activity intending that the participants in such activity shall use or be trained to use criminal force or violence or knowing it to be likely that the participants in such activity will use or be trained to use criminal force or violence, or participates in such activity intending to use or be trained to use criminal force or violence or knowing it to be likely that the participants in such activity will use or be trained to use criminal force or violence, against any religious, racial, language or regional group or
caste or community and such activity for any reason whatsoever causes or is likely to cause fear or alarm or a feeling of insecurity amongst members of such religious, racial, language or regional group or caste or community, shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.
Offence committed in place of worship, etc.—(2) Whoever commits an offence specified in sub-section (1) in any place of worship or in any assembly engaged in the performance of religious worship or religious ceremonies, shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to five years and shall also be liable to fine.
CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE
Para I: Punishment
—Imprisonment for 3 years, or fine, or both—Cognizable— Non-bailable—Triable by any Magistrate of the first class—Non-compoundable.
Para II: Punishment—Imprisonment for 5 years and fine—Cognizable—Nonbailable— Triable by Magistrate of the first class—Non-compoundable.
Comments
(i) Mens rea is a necessary ingredient for the offence under section 153A of the Indian Penal Code; Bilal Ahmed Kaloo v. State of Andhra Pradesh, (1997) Supreme Today 127.
(ii) Publication of the words or representation is not necessary under section 153 of the Indian Penal Code Kaloo v. State of Andhra Pradesh, (1997)Supreme Today 127.

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