First Step Towards Blasphemy Law? Punjab Cabinet Approves Life Punishment For Those Damaging Religious Texts

First Step Towards Blasphemy Law?   Punjab Cabinet Approves Life Punishment For Those Damaging Religious TextsPunjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh. (Pardeep Pandit/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

In a controversial move earlier today, the Punjab cabinet approved amendments to the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) making sacrilege of religious texts punishable with life imprisonment, Firstpost has reported.

According to the report, the spokesperson of the government has defended the amendment saying it has been approved to maintain communal harmony in the state. He added that the decision to approve the amendment was taken at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.

"The Cabinet has approved insertion of section 295AA to the Indian Penal Code (IPC) to provide that - whoever causes injury, damage or sacrilege to Sri Guru Granth Sahib, Srimad Bhagwad Geeta, Holy Quran and Holy Bible with the intention to hurt the religious feelings of the people, shall be punished with imprisonment for life," the spokesperson was quoted by the portal as saying.

The withdrawal of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Indian Penal Code ) Bill, 2016 and the Indian Penal Code (Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2016, which were passed in the 12th Session of 14th Vidhan Sabha in 2016, was also approved.