Defining Offences Of Speech, Expression
As there is no clear definition of what constitutes a “hate speech” in the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Committee for Reforms in Criminal Laws is attempting for the first time to define such speech.
- The Bureau of Police Research and Development recently published a manual for investigating agencies on cyber harassment cases that defined hate speech as a “language that denigrates, insults, threatens or targets an individual based on their identity and other traits (such as sexual orientation or disability or religion etc.).”
- In 2019, the Home Ministry decided to overhaul the IPC, framed in 1860 and the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) after seeking suggestions from States, the Supreme Court, High Courts, the Bar Council of India, Bar Councils of States, universities and law institutes on comprehensive amendments to criminal laws.
- The committee thus formed is examining a gamut of subjects pertaining to reforms in the IPC.
- The committee has decided that instead of ad hoc changes, all the pending issues such as those on hate speech as recommended by the Viswanathan committee can be examined and comprehensive changes are brought in.
Source : The Hindu