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Criminal Intimidation, Insult, And Annoyance Are Crimes Under The IPC

This article is all about the offense of criminal intimidation, insult, and annoyance. Chapter 22 of IPC from sections 503 - 510 speaks about criminal intimidation, insult, and annoyance.

What Is Criminal Intimidation?

Section 503 of IPC defines criminal intimidation as:
Whoever threatens another with any injury to his person, reputation or property, or
to the person or reputation of anyone in whom that person is interested, with intent to cause alarm to that person, or
to cause that person to do any act which he is not legally bound to do, or to omit to do any act which that person is legally entitled to do, as the means of avoiding the execution of such threat, commits criminal intim­idation.

In simple words, it means anyone harms another with injury or in its reputation or property or if any of these activities are done on any person who is close to that person then such act is said to be criminal intimidation. It also says stopping a person from doing any act for which he is legally bounded to do OR to do any act forcefully for which he is not legally bound is also criminal intimidation.

What Kind Of Offense It Is?

It's a Non-Cognizable, bailable, compoundable offense. It is triable by any Magistrate. If criminal intimidation threat to cause death or grievous hurt then it is triable by a Magistrate of first class.

Punishment for Criminal intimidation is explained in section 506 of IPC. Whoever commits Criminal Intimidation shall be imprisoned for the team which extends to two years OR fine OR both.

If the threat is to cause grievous hurt or death or destruction of any property by fire shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to seven years OR fine OR both.

Do You Know Insult Is A Crime?

Nowadays it's commonly seen many politicians or many citizens comment intentionally in such a way that can break public peace. Let me take you through a few examples that can clear all your doubts about why it was necessary to keep insult under the criminal act.
  1. Dr. Zakir Naik was a public speaker but he is accused of spreading hatred and funding the terror through his public speaking seminar
  2. Suspended AAP Mla Tahir Hussain mastermind of Delhi riots by his speech misleading many citizens which resulted in riots.
  3. MP Ajay Mishra Teni (Minister of state for home) in his many viral videos found giving intentional speeches which threatened a particular section of the society. To break the public peace.
Still, you think it's wrong to keep intentional insult as a crime. I hope your answer is a big no. To overcome with this we have punishment in IPC. Whoever provokes breach of the peace intentionally insults any person to break the public peace shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 2 years OR fine OR both. It is explained in section 504 of IPC.

Section 505 clause (1) say whoever gives any statements or rumors either by publishing or circulating conducing to public mischief is an offense and shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 3 years OR fine OR both.

The word public mischief in this section has a broader meaning it means any mischief against public authorities. Such as against Army, Navy, or Air Force officers or against the state (Central & State Government).

Clause (2) speaks about the person who makes any statement to create or promote enmity, hatred, or ill-will between the two classes of our society is also criminal intimidation and a crime hence such person shall be punished with imprisonment for the team which extends to 3 years OR fine OR both.

This section also has clause (3) which says whoever creates or promotes any statements of enmity, hatred, or ill-will between 2 classes of our society from the place of worship or any assembly engaged in the performance of religious worship shall be punished with imprisonment for the term which may extend to 5 years and is also liable with fine.

The Constitution confers to each citizen of this Country, absolute freedom to profess, practice, and propagate religion. The right to propagate religion does not mean taking advantage of the Constitutional right of freedom to practice, profess and propagate any religion, if unconstitutional things are done, the same requires to be dealt with a firm hand.

There is no question of showing any mercy on such persons. Any mercy shown to them would only result in their indulging in such activities, which would be against the interest of the very community, Hence this section and clause (3) of this section are too important.

Recently the Ex-Chief Minister of Uttrakhand Tirath Singh Rawat said that due to a lack of culture, the youth started doing strange fashions. Surprised to see women wearing jeans torn near the knee. Opposition parties as well as common people have reacted sharply to this statement of the Chief Minister. Such statements made with an intention to insult the modesty of a woman are a crime under section 509 of IPC.

Whoever by any word, gesture, or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman is a cognizable offense under section 509 of IPC and for such offense shall be punished with imprisonment for the term which may extend to 3 years and also with fine. It's one of the important sections of IPC which give protection to women. I would just like to say a few lines to those who give such statements or have such a low-standard mentality.

Apamaan mat karana naariyon ka,
Inake bal par jag chalata hain,
Purush janm lekar to...
Inheen kee god mein palata hain!!!
Coming to the conclusion of this Article I would like to conclude by saying before speaking we should think a thousand times whether it will harm or insult anyone irrespective of that that it's a crime we should not give any statement that harm or insult any one or can break the peace of society or create any differentiation between any classes of our society. After all, we are famous for Unity in Diversity we should maintain this and let our country feel proud of this.

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