PPC provisions against those inciting violence, hatred, murder

The mindset promoted by the ‘blasphemy’ laws is again highlighted by the recent case of a doctor in Hyderabad arrested for ‘blasphemy’ because he threw the visiting card of a medical representative (Pfizer employee) named Mohammad Faizan into the dustbin.

I have been in correspondence with Asad Jamal, Advocate Lahore High Court, on possible action against those who make false accusations of blasphemy and incite to murder or violence — we were specifically discussing the Maulana who announced a reward of five lakh rupees for killing  Aasiya Noreen, the Christian woman sentenced by a lower court for blasphemy, whose case is going into appeal before the Lahore High Court. (Asad reminded me that in 1995, a similar ‘reward’ (it was then a million rupees, the value has obviously gone down for such murders, given that people are willing to commit them for free) had been offered for killing the minor Salamat Masih. The Lahore High Court acquitted Salamat and his two co-accused but Manzoor Masih, a co-accused in that case, was shot dead outside the court). He writes:
I am copying below the relevant provision of PPC which may be used for such situations. The relevant part starts with ****If (asterisks my own) – it is often referred to as 506-B in FIRs by the police (which is a legal/technical absurdity as there is no such provision). The courts don’t seem to mind. Offences under section 506 PPC are not cognisable (“cognisable offence” and ‘cognisable case’, is one in which a police officer may arrest without warrant). Therefore, permission from a magistrate has to be obtained after getting information of the commission of a non-cognisable offence.

I think the Maulana can be booked under S.506 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) based on the statement which may be viewed as a threat to cause death of Aasiya as the promise of a reward would demonstrate his intent to kill her. This depends on the police and the concerned magistrate, and if none then the provincial government, If convicted the Maulana can be sentenced to a prison term which may extend to seven years or he may be fined or both. If someone acts on the statement and murders Aasiya as a consequence, the Maulana can be charged under s.302, S.109 and S.34 of the PPC for the murder for which the maximum sentence is death.

506. Punishment for criminal intimidation: Whoever commences the offence of criminal intimidation shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years or with fine or with both.

****If threat be to cause death or grievous hurt, etc.: And if the threat be to cause death or grievous hurt, or to cause the destruction of any property by fire, or to cause an offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years, or to impute unchastity to a woman, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, or with fine, or with both.

Section 109. Punishment of abetment if the Act abetted committed In consequence and where no express provision is made for its punishment: Whoever abets any offence shall, if the act abetted is committed in consequence of the abetment, and no express provision is made by this Code, for the punishment of such abetment, be punished with the punishment provided for the offence.

Section 34. Acts done by several persons In furtherance of common intention: When a criminal act is done by several persons, in furtherance of the common intention of all, each such person is liable for that act in the same manner as if it were done by him alone.

Legal action in such cases can also be based upon section 153-A of PPC in addition to section 506.

Under section 153-A (b) a person who “(b)  commits, or incites any other person to commit, any act which is prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony between different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities or any group of persons identifiable as such on any ground whatsoever and which disturbs or is likely to disturb public tranquillity shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years and with fine.  such an offence is cognisable by the police i.e no warrant is needed.

Asad adds: I also think that legal action in such cases can also be based upon section 153-A of PPC in addition to section 506.

Under section 153-A (b) a person who “(b)  commits, or incites any other person to commit, any act which is prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony between different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities or any group of persons identifiable as such on any ground whatsoever and which disturbs or is likely to disturb public tranquillity shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years and with fine.  such an offence is cognisable by the police i.e no warrant is needed.

[153-A. Promoting enmity between different groups, etc.: Whoever,

(a)  by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representations or otherwise, promotes or incites, or attempts to promote or incite, on grounds of religion, race, place of both, 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; or

(b)  commits, or incites any other person to commit, any act which is prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony between different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities or any group of persons identifiable as such on any ground whatsoever and which disturbs or is likely to disturb public tranquillity; or

(c) organizes, or incites any other person to organize, and exercise, movement, drill or other similar activity intending that the participants in any such activity shall use or be trained to use criminal force or violence or knowing it to be likely that the participants in any such activity will use or be trained to use criminal force or violence or participates, or incites any other person to participate, in any such activity intending to use or be trained to use criminal force or violence or knowing it to be likely that the participants in any such activity will use or be trained, to use criminal force or violence, against any religious, racial, language or regional group or caste of community or any group of persons identifiable as such on any ground .whatsoever and any such activity for any reason whatsoever cause 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 for a term which may extend to five years and with fine.

Explanation: It does not amount to an offence within the meaning of this section to point but, without malicious intention and with an honest view to their removal, matters which are producing, or have a tendency to produce, feelings of enmity or hatred between different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities].

8 Responses

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by beena sarwar and beena sarwar, Marvi Sirmed . Marvi Sirmed said: PPC 506 is very vague & doesn't talk of hate speech RT @beenasarwar PPC provisions re inciting murder, violence, hatred http://bit.ly/eZ32dM […]

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  2. LET TRUTH AND RULE OF LAW PREVAIL. LET YOUR VIEWS MAY NOT BE ON DEAF EARS.

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  3. Three cheers for the alacrity shown by you dear Beena in taking notice of the new kind of blasphemy allegedly committed by a doctor in Hyderabad by throwing a visiting card with the name Muhammad Faizan written on it in the dustbin.

    We would have simply laughed at it if the event had not put the life of the accused at stake. But thinking seriously does not lead us either to any solution of the problem as the three powerful organizations – Mullah, police and the judiciary -appear to have joined hands to create a mayhem so as to make life of the law-abiding citizens so miserable as to leave no option for them but either to check them with force or to leave the country.

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  4. Thanks for compiling the penal privisions for violence incitments. However PPC 182 and 211 are also effective for false complainants too

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  5. Let me clarify it bit further in the case of incitement to kill Aasiya Bibi by the Peshawar’s Maulana, the crime/offence being abetted i.e. pre-meditated murder, is one punishable with death or imprisonment for life. But since it has not been committed so far, therefore section 115 PPC is attracted in the instant case, not section 109 of PPC which reads:

    115. Abetment of offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life If offence not committed: Whoever abets the commission of an offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life, shall, if that offence be not committed in consequence of the abetment, and no express provision is made by this Code for the punishment of such abetment be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

    Section 109 would be attracted in case the offence of killing was actually committed in pursuance of the announcement.

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  6. […] experts to know if there are any repercussions for such criminal intimidation and she discovers in her post that the Constitution of Pakistan actually have provisions which call for punishment including […]

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  7. […] experts to know if there are any repercussions for such criminal intimidation and she discovers in her post that the Constitution of Pakistan actually have provisions which call for punishment including […]

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  8. I have been a victim of a similar case where as an educationist, a government officer blasphemously accused me of 506-B and issued a FIR on me. I had to seek the good office of another Govt officer to resolve the issue out of court through a compromise (mainly by me apologising for something i didnt do).

    This govt officer actually was infuriated that when he came to visit my office i made him wait his turn to see me. He clearly indicated his annoyance and intention to set me staright by re-opening a previous case.

    In a previous case two years earlier I was falsely implicated under sections 506-B & 342/504 by an armed services officer who did not like his son being refused to go on a fieldtrip because he did not bring the permission slip signed from his parents.

    Even though i was accquitted through an out of court compromise the annoyed officer used his sources to intimidate me at the hands of intelligence officers and the armed services offices for a month.

    It’s a shame how govt officers and state forces intimidate the common man when they do not get the expected pomp and show and the commanded respect that comes with their psoition from others in their field of communication.

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