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When freedom of religion conflicts with other freedom

It is imperative that if any individual or group of persons, by their action or caustic and inflammatory speech are bent upon sowing seeds of mutual hatred, and their proposed activities are likely to create disharmony and disturb the equilibrium, sacrificing public peace and tranquillity, strong action and more so, preventive action are essentially and virtually needed to be taken. any speech or action which would result in ostracisation of communal harmony would destroy all those high values which the Constitution aim at. Whenever the authorities concerned in charge of law and order find that a person’s speeches or action are likely to trigger communal antagonism and hatred resulti9ng in fissiparous tendencies gaining foothold, undermining and effecting communal harmony, prohibitory orders need necessarily to be passed to effectively avert such untoward happenings. It was also held that no person, however big he may be or claim to be, should be allowed irrespective of the position be may assume or claim to hold in public to either act in a manner or make speeches which would destroy secularism recognised by the constitution. Communal harmony should not be made to suffer and be made dependent upon the will of an individual or group of individuals, whatever e their religion, be it of a minority or that of majority. Persons belonging to different religions must feel assured that they can live in peace with the persons belonging to other religion.

Since freedom under Article 25 belongs to every person, the freedom of one cannot encroach upon similar freedom belonging to other person. The right guaranteed under this Article does not extend to creating hatred amongst two groups of persons practicing different religion.

Also that, a religious speech may be restricted on the ground that it is injurious to national security or safety which is indicated by the expression ‘security of the state’ in Article 19 (2).

Read: Relationship between directive principles of state policy and fundamental rights

In other context, namely, election, the Supreme Court in Vimal v. Bhagiji [AIR 1995 SC 1836] has held that the use of religion for electioneering has been made punishable by section 123 (3) and 123 (3A) of Representation of People’s Act.

Thus, where the speech is used for  a religious purpose, e.g, for the purpose of professing or propagating one’s religion, it should be subjected to the limitations which are imposed by Article 19 (2) as held in Subhash Desai v. Sharad J. Rao, [AIR 1994 SC 2277].

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