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Insult, Annoyance and Criminal Intimidation a Penal Offence

Insult, Annoyance and Criminal Intimidation a Penal Offence

Criminal law in India is codified under the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. The Indian Penal Code is regarded as a substantive law while as the Code of Criminal Procedure is regarded as the procedural law. The Indian Penal Code in layman’s language makes certain acts and commissions a punishable offence.

Insult annoyance and criminal intimidation have been made penal offences by the Indian Penal Code. Best criminal lawyer in Delhi and the top Supreme Court lawyers in Delhi often educate their clients about such situation in which annoyance and insult would amount to a criminal offence.

Lately, a trend has been witnessed that people are showing a keen interest in knowing the law and their rights and even talk to a lawyer online or hire a lawyer online for this purpose. Whether insult or annoyance amounts to a criminal offence or not is a common question asked by people to lawyers these days. The top criminal lawyer in Noida often explain in detail the situations and conditions which need to be satisfied in order to make annoyance and insult a criminal offence. While on the other hand criminal intimidation is well known to all as a criminal offence.   

The offence of criminal intimidation is said to have been committed by a person when he threatens another with some sort of injury to his person, reputation or property or the person or reputation of any other in whom the person so threatened is interested. the offence as defined under section 503 of the Indian Penal code further lays down that the threat must be made with such an intention as to cause alarm to that person or to cause that person to do any act which he is not legally bound to do, or in doing an act which a person is legally entitled to do and same must be as a reaction to the threat in order to avoid the execution of the threat. When the abovementioned conditions are satisfied the offence of criminal intimidation is said to have been completed. 

The courts have time and again expressed their views about criminal intimidation and in various cases and have concluded that threat to picketing or threat of killing does amount to criminal intimidation while the threat of social boycott was not regarded by the courts to fall within the ambit of criminal intimidation.

Criminal intimidation by anonymous communication has also been made punishable of the Indian Penal Code.

Under the Indian Penal Code, two provisions relate to insult. These provisions relate to insult offered to persons other than public servants. Section 504 and 509 deal with these provisions in the Code.

These provisions can be summed up as follows:

An intentional insult and provocation to a person which is done with the intention of provoking breach of public peace or by means of provocation and intentional insult cause the commission of any offence by the person so provoked then the person intentionally insulting and provoking another is said to have committed an offence dealt under section 504.

On the other hand, section 509 talks about insult in a different context and states that uttering of any words or making of any sounds or gestures or exhibition of any object done with an intention to insult the modesty of a woman by intruding upon the privacy of such a women is said to have committed an offence under the Indian Penal Code under section 509.

Making and publishing or circulation of any alarming news with an intention of promoting the feeling of enmity or hatred between various groups or communities has been made a punishable offence under the Code. Also, the Code makes annoyance caused by the misconduct of a drunken person in public a punishable offence. However, it is important to mention that the Code has not made intoxication in itself a punishable offence it becomes a punishable offence when it leads to misconduct in public. 



Suwaiba Malik, BA LLB (Hons.) Graduated from University of Kashmir Department of Law. Presently working with LawzGrid a part of Karmasquare as an In-House Lawyer and a Content writer. It is well known that “ignorantia juris non excusat” meaning ignorance of law is no excuse. Following this rule, I desire to educate people about law and by writing various blogs and articles I aim at making legal knowledge easily available so that they become aware about their rights and liabilities.

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