Punjab Assembly Okays Life Sentence for Damaging Guru Granth Sahib

Earlier the punishment of 2 years in jail was awarded for sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib

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File picture of Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab, Sukhbir Singh Badal. (Photo: Reuters)

The Punjab legislative assembly passed a bill which states that whoever causes damage or sacrilege to Guru Granth Sahib with an intention to hurt the religious feelings of the people will be punished with imprisonment for life.

The Bill – Code of Criminal Procedure (Punjab Amendment – was moved by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal. However, an amendment in the bill brought by Leader of Opposition Charanjit Singh Channi and Congress MLAs Ashwini Sekhri and Tarlochan Singh did not pass.

The Congress leaders wanted provisions of similar punishments should be made for those causing damage to Gita, Bible, Quran, Ramayan and Mahabharat.

What is more important is to arrest those who indulge in such crimes and implementation of such an Act.
Charanjit Singh Channi, Leader of Opposition

Channi said Congress supports the bill, but keeping in mind the secular credentials of the country, similar provisions for punishments should also be made for those damaging Holy books of other religions.

Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia demanded capital punishments for those indulging in incidents of sacrilege. BJP’s Madan Mohan Mittal, who is also Parliamentary Affairs Minister, said that it is mentioned in the bill that those destroying or defiling a place of worship or sacred object with intent to insult the religion of any class or persons will be sentenced to ten years. Earlier, the punishment was two years in jail.

Sukhbir Badal said the government decided to increase the punishment from two years to life imprisonment for those indulging in incidents of sacrilege after consultation with the SGPC and Sant Samaj.

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