An image of a public notice, citing the offences said to be listed under IPC section 427 and 2/3 act of the Public Property Act 1985, is being shared on social media claiming that the Rajasthan government had amended section 427 in the Indian Penal Code and enacted new legislations to safeguard mosques and other Islamic properties within the state. According to the post, the revised laws enacted by the Rajasthan government could result in non-bailable imprisonment of up to 3 years for anyone who obstructs the construction of mosques or madarsas within the state. Let’s verify the claim made in the post.
Claim: Image of a public notice issued by the Rajasthan government regarding new legislation aimed to safeguard mosques and other Islamic properties within the state.
Fact: No such public notice announcing amendments to the IPC section 427 was issued by either the Central Government or the State Government of Rajasthan. Section 427 of the Indian Penal Code specifies a maximum penalty of two years of imprisonment, or fine, or both, for engaging in mischief and causing damage to the amount of fifty or upwards. It has nothing to do with Mosques, Temples and Churches. ‘The Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, 1984’ contains provisions for punishment for causing damage to any public property under the Central Government or any of the State Governments. The Rajasthan Police through a tweet confirmed that the viral public notice was fake. Hence, the claim made in the post is False.
When we searched for the details related to the claims made in the post, we could not find any credible source confirming that the Government of India had made amendments to the IPC section 427. The Rajasthan government too did not issue any such public notice announcing amendments to the IPC section 427. We could not find any such new regulations on the Lok Sabha’s ‘Sansad’ website. If the Indian government had issued any such new amendments to safeguard Islamic properties, several media outlets would have published articles reporting that information. But we could not find any.
IPC Section 427
Section 427 of the Indian Penal Code states– “Whoever commits mischief and thereby causes loss or damage to the amount of fifty rupees or upwards, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.” The provision has nothing to do with Mosques, Temples, and Churches.
The Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, 1984
The Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, 1984 came into force in 1984, not in 1985 as mentioned in the post. The act contains provisions for punishment for causing damage to the public properties owned by the government. The term public property is defined in the act as any immovable or movable property which is owned by, in the possession of, or under the control of the Central Government or any State Government. Any property owned by the local authority, corporation, or company established by, or under a Central, Provisional, or State Act also comes under public property. As per the act, whoever commits mischief by doing any act leading to the damage of public property shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years and with a fine. The act talks about punishing the individuals accused of damaging public property. The law is not about safeguarding Mosques and Madarsas. Also, the individual booked under this act can apply for bail.
When the same photo went viral on social media in August 2021, Rajasthan Police through a tweet confirmed that the viral public notice was fake. Lokesh Sharma, an official working with the Chief Minister of Rajasthan, also tweeted that the viral photo was fake and requested people not to publicize the fake public notice on social media.
To sum it up, this purported public notice of the government announcing new regulations aimed at protecting Mosques and Madarsas is a fake one.