This Article is From Jul 08, 2015

IPC to be Amended to Punish Racial Discrimination, Government Tells Court

IPC to be Amended to Punish Racial Discrimination, Government Tells Court

File Photo: Delhi High Court.

New Delhi: Calling people of the north-eastern region by "derogatory" names may soon land a person in jail for up to five years, and become a non-bailable offence, if the government has its way.

The Ministry of Home Affairs told the Delhi High Court today that it has decided to amend the Indian Penal Code (IPC) to strengthen the legal framework against racial discrimination.

"The Ministry of Home Affairs is in process of finalizing a comprehensive bill for insertion of new sections of 153C and 509A in Indian Penal Code (IPC) which will be introduced in Parliament after inter-ministerial consultation," a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath was told.

The proposed Section 153C makes imputations and assertions prejudicial to human dignity and makes words, both spoken and written, or signs attempting to discriminate against individuals on the basis of race, or indulging in activity intended to use criminal force or violence against a particular race, a non-bailable offence punishable with imprisonment up to five years with fine.

While the proposed Section 509A seeks to make any word, gesture or act intended to insult a member of a particular race with imprisonment that may extend to three years with fine.

Other facilities like legal assistance, special police initiatives, bonding power of sports and educating the people about the North East region will also be provided, said officials.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain said that the Home Ministry has accepted a recommendation of the M K Bezbaruah committee constituted in February 2014, following a spate of attacks against people from the region living in Delhi.

The Centre had set up the committee after a 19-year-old Arunachal Pradesh student Nido Tania was killed in an alleged racial attack in Lajpat Nagar locality of South Delhi in January 2014.