Punishment regarding Section 504 of the Indian Penal Code

Do you want to know about Punishment regarding Section 504 of the Indian Penal Code? If yes, then read this article

Punishment regarding Section 504 of the Indian Penal Code
Punishment regarding Section 504 of the Indian Penal Code


Insults are usually considered to be harsh or degrading words or acts intended against another person, whether or not there is an intention to hurt another person’s emotions. A person may become so mentally or emotionally traumatized by insults during times when they are driven to interrupt the privacy of others in the hope of seeking revenge. The Indian Penal Code contains rules for punishing individuals who cause mental injury to others as well as to people who cause physical damage. According to this Section, the simple act of using abusive words is not considered an offence. To be considered an offence and make the culprit responsible, a few requirements must be met.

The main portion of Section 504 of the IPC is briefly discussed in this article, with the spotlight focusing on the penalty for this offence. This article describes in detail the consequences stipulated by Section 504 of the Indian Penal Code and provides a brief overview of the Section’s contents, requirements, definition of crime, and associated processes. After that, it clarifies the penalties while enlightening significant case laws and past events related to it. The particular clause, Section 504, covers the offence of purposeful disrespect to cause an interruption of peace and includes penalty guidelines. This will be covered in more detail in the following section of this article.

Attributes of criminality as defined by Section 504

A person who voluntarily offends somebody to provoke them and knows which offence may lead them to engage in an offence or behave in a manner that compromises public order is subject to punishment under Indian Penal Code Section 504. Nevertheless, using filthy language or making a rude comment alone wouldn’t be considered an offence. In the matter of Pukhraj v, The State of Rajasthan, the complainant was reportedly exposed to insulting remarks by the accused, because he was upset about the goods he had purchased and the complainant’s unwillingness to reimburse him for the money he had spent. The High Court of Rajasthan noted that it was unclear exactly what insults were exchanged, and given the facts of the matter, it wasn’t clear that the defendant was insulting the complainant in an attempt to encourage him to engage in any crime. As a result, the Court stated that simply being impolite would not be considered a violation of Section 504 and that when an individual is offended verbally, it must be beyond just a vulgar insult.

Criticizing someone would only qualify as a criminal offence under this provision if the remark was significant enough to cause the target to act incorrectly or carry out a major crime for which he might be held responsible. We may state that while prosecuting someone under this section, three important factors need to be taken into account.

  • The defendant intended to make fun of the individual
  • Intentional provocation was the objective.
  • The accused was aware that the person would break the silence or conduct an act of violence as a result of the provocation.

The defendant purposefully offends the individual

Not every insult qualifies as an intended insult. Someone with poor manners may occasionally use vulgarity or talk loudly with others. It wouldn’t qualify as an offense under this category even if certain individuals may consider it offensive and insulting since the speaker genuinely has no intention of offending anyone. In the event when two friends are joking about and say hurtful things to one another, it is clear that this is not appropriate.

The defendant wanted to agitate the individual

The defendant must have known or meant for the abuse to provoke the other person to act unlawfully. For instance, ‘X’ is an elected protest organizer who is a political figure. He calls out “Y,” a representative of the opposing community, insults and irritates him in an attempt to instigate clashes between the two groups.

The person being charged must’ve been aware that the individual may break the rules or violate the safety of others

This is a particularly crucial component that serves as an indicator for figuring out if criticizing somebody would fall within the scope of this Section. Someone must commit an offence or break the public’s tranquillity as a result of the abuse. Their conduct will not be prosecuted under this Section if there aren’t any consequences for offending someone.

In the matter of Vaz v. Dias, the Bombay High Court referred the case of Kuppusami Aiyar and noted that Section 504 of the Indian Penal Code does not apply to simple insults that do not include a violation of security or information of which an invasion of harmony is likely to occur.

How does a lawsuit under Section 504 proceed?

If a judge finds someone not guilty of a crime for which bail is required or unknown, the person making the complaint may use Section 378’s procedures to bring an argument against the judge’s ruling to the High Court for review.

Type of offence as defined by Section 504 

Since the Section 504 offence is comparatively not something serious, it is an unknowable offence, a bailable offence, and more complex. Any judge may hear it.

Unknowable offense 

The majority of violations, including insults, are unknown crimes. That is, a warrant for arrest must be obtained before the accused may be taken into custody by law enforcement or a different investigative authority. The severity of such offences is less serious. As a result, the typical sentence for these offences is shorter than three years in prison. Similar to this, a Section 504 offence carries a maximum 2-year jail sentence.

Bailable offense

The severity of the offence committed determines whether bail will be granted. In circumstances that are not as serious, bail can be simply requested and given to the offender at the option of the court. Therefore, for this type of offence, the accused is allowed to request bail by Section 436 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.


Complex offences are ones in which the two parties can reach a compromise, whereby the complainant, the one who has experienced some harm, agrees to withdraw the allegations against the person being accused in return for an amount of money.

How does a hearing under Section 504 move forward?

The law enforcement officer cannot rapidly begin an inquiry or decide on the accused person since the Section 504 offence is unknown. According to Section 155, the investigating police are not allowed to look into an unknown offence until they get instructions or commands from the relevant judge or court. An unknown offence’s initial details statement need not be recorded by the police. Therefore, the victim must file the offence with the judge to start the legal procedure. The judge then has the authority to direct the police to begin their inquiries. By Section 158, the judge shall receive an update on the matter under investigation. The judge would then issue a warrant for arrest if the defendant was found guilty during the court proceeding, at which point the law enforcement might make their last arrest.

How to secure bail in case of an accusation of Section 504?

If an accused person violates a Section 504 bailable offence, they are entitled to be released on bail. You can request bail by applying to the court or the police. It is the responsibility of law enforcement or a judge to give bail if the defendant applies for it, as bail in these situations is a question of law and none of the parties may withhold their choice as to grant or deny it. But, law enforcement agencies have the right to establish conditions and limitations on the bail contract, and if the suspect violates them, they have the right to send them back to prison.

Penalties as stated in Section 504

Holding a criminal responsible for his acts is the goal of punishing him. In addition to making an offender feel more aware of their behaviour in public, penalties act as a prevention for people who may otherwise commit such a violation. In addition to being vengeful, punishments generate a feeling of justice in both the victim and the community. Since punishing the culprit and preventing others from repeating the same offences in the future are the key goals, section 504’s penalty guidelines remain severe.

A person shall be found guilty by Section 504 and penalized as follows if they willfully insult another individual with the knowledge that doing so would cause them to create an inconvenience in society or conduct an offence:

  • A maximum of two years behind bars
  • Paying a fine, or,
  • Both of the above

The length of imprisonment is determined by the nature of the offence. It may be either basic or severe. The court also has the authority to determine the penalty amount to be paid as a fine. As a result, the length of the sentence is determined by the court after thoroughly examining the specifics of the case and conditions and the seriousness of the offence performed.

Significant case laws 

1. The respondent attended a budget conference that was arranged by the complainant, who was the town’s education council president, in the case of Kunti Kumari v. State of Jharkhand. The members were receiving food packs from the individuals who complained during lunch. As she was giving the lunch pack to the complainant, he grabbed it from her and began insulting her and her community in general, making insulting comments regarding his argument, and claiming that not even a dog could consume what she was providing. She was mentally harassed by the complainant because of the insults she had received in the presence of all the instructors and students. Accordingly, the complainant was sentenced to four months of imprisonment by the Jharkhand High Court by Section 504 of the Indian Penal Code.

2. The accused in the case of Fiona Shrikhandhe v. State of Maharashtra was settling in with her spouse in a Mumbai apartment that belonged to both her husband and brother-in-law. Internal disputes within the family developed about who should own the asset, and it was determined that the defendant was engaging in several illegal measures to evict her brother-in-law and his wife from the apartment. The accused would argue and scream at the relatives as they attempted to enter the puja area. While trying to transfer the layout where the gods’ idols are kept out of the apartment, she broke and knocked down the picture casings and the statues of the gods. The complainant experienced distress and injured feelings regarding her religion as a result of these actions. In this matter, the Bombay High Court established the following fundamental components of Section 504:

  • Intentional offence.
  • The insult needs to be offensive enough to provoke the target of the offence.
  • The accused must’ve known or intended that the offence would lead someone else to violate the law or conduct any other offence.

It decided that just assaulting the person who’s filing the complaint is insufficient to punish the accused under Section 504 of the Indian Penal Code, as the conduct of purposeful abuse that results in an offence of public harmony is one of the crucial factors.

3. Kishori Mohan and Dwarika Nath Singh were petitioners in another matter who were proved guilty under Section 504 by the trial judge. As a result, they requested a criminal reconsideration from the appeal court of the earlier ruling in Kishori Mohan v. Dwarika Nath Singh. The applicants, Kishori Lal and Dwarika Nath were the block’s junior statistics supervisors at the moment of the occurrence, while the complainant, Kanhaiya Lal, was the senior auditor of a Gharka Block. The complainant showed up to report to work during a non-gazetted workers’ protest. He was immediately surrounded by staff members at this point, and Dwarika Nath had him put a garland made out of shoes, humiliating him, as Kishori Nath captured a photograph of him. Both petitioners were found guilty under Section 504 by the judge, who additionally imposed a six-month jail punishment on them. However, the appeal court dismissed Kishori Lal’s accusations following the judgment’s modifications. The Patna High Court concluded that there wasn’t any proof of the photos being published or being displayed, using the Gauri Shankar v. Bachha Singh case as support. Therefore, snapping pictures is neither a degrading act nor a reason to encourage the people to disrupt the peace.

As observed from the situations mentioned above, an insult is typically associated with various indirect offences such as upsetting someone’s caste or community, hurting someone’s spiritual emotions, humiliating someone in general, etc. It is also evident that the judge carefully considers the case’s specifics and situations to figure out the defendant’s motive, making sure nobody innocent is found guilty while ensuring the defendant receives a punishment corresponding with the seriousness of the offence committed.

Latest legal cases regarding Section 504

Sivaraja Boopathi v. State

  • Case facts: In this particular case, the defendant, Sivaraja Boopathi, called the late Colonel Bipin Rawat an “oppressor” and a “soldier of tyrants” in an insulting Facebook statement. A case under Sections 153, 505, and 504 of the Indian Penal Code was filed against him at the Nagercoil cybercrime police headquarters. To get the FIR invalidated, the accused applicant went to the Chennai High Court.
  • Court’s ruling: A significant statement on an offence under Section 504 was made by the High Court. The offender must have purposefully told the victim about the assault or insult “immediately,” according to the court. Despite their unprofessional approach, the statements do not violate the Indian Penal Code. In addition, while everyone may view the posts, they were intended exclusively to be shared with his “Facebook friends.” Only private discussions are involved in Section 504 instances. Thus, the petitioner was found not guilty.

State of U.P. v. Mukhtar Ansari

  • Case facts: In this particular case, the accused person, Mukhtar Ansari, an earlier M.L.A., was imprisoned in 2003, and the person who complained was a jailer. Several individuals showed up to witness the defendant on the morning of the event, but the person who complained refused to allow his guests to enter without authorization and gave an order for officers to search them as part of standard safety protocols. This irritated the defendant, who then began verbally harassing the complainant and waving a pistol at him while threatening to kill him.
  • Court’s ruling: The defendant was found responsible by the Allahabad High Court under Sections 353, 356, and 504 of the Indian Penal Code, which deals with violence and unlawfully using force to prevent a public officer from carrying out his responsibilities and purposeful abuse, respectively. Regarding the Section 504 offence, the Court noted that the offender was deliberately insulting the complainant, understanding fully that doing so would challenge his ethics as a public servant and compromise his responsibilities as a jailer, both of which could potentially result in a breach of peace both inside and outside of the prison. Therefore, the Court convicted him in compliance with Section 504 and issued a penalty of two thousand rupees in addition to a harsh 2-year jail sentence.


One of the most important laws required to protect social harmony and order is Section 504 of the Indian Penal Code. It imposes severe penalties for individuals who purposefully offend someone to upset them and disturb the peace in the community. Under the Indian Penal Code, the offence of insult extends over a wide range of criminal offences and is typically combined with other types of both physical and mental offences. With the assistance of several prior cases, judges have been extremely cautious in approving reasonable penalties for criminals that offer victims an impression of justice while discouraging those who would repeat the same offence.

It emphasizes how important it is to uphold the fundamental freedoms and worth of other people and to encourage a climate of compassion and politeness in social situations. It acknowledges how crucial it is to keep society calm and punish actions that can cause trouble or crimes. The legislation aims to prevent people from acting in a way that might damage the stability and security of society by enforcing punishments like fines or jail.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why is legal representation necessary in a Section 504 event?

No matter the severity of the offence, hiring legal representation is required whenever someone is charged with an illegal act. Even in cases where the offence is not very serious, the criminal justice system will still be highly complex and you will need legal assistance to go through it all and, especially, to fight for your release or a reduction in the sentence. The offence of purposeful insult to cause a violation of peace is covered by Section 504 of the Indian Penal Code.

Those charged with doing so must have capable representation from an attorney because this violation carries significant consequences from the law that might include penalties such as fines and jail time. A lawyer can assist you in comprehending the specifics of the offence, your rights, both before and after you are taken into custody, and what will happen if you are found guilty following an investigation. Attorneys can help clients file a motion for reconsideration by pointing out any irregularities in the procedure or legal omissions that may have happened during the trial. To get a fresh trial or have the sentence cancelled, they can also make powerful arguments in front of the appeal court.

2. What differentiates defamation under Section 499 from insult under Section 504?

Another harm that comes from insulting someone is to their dignity and image. However, the publication of offensive or degrading comments makes a difference. While posting negative or abusive remarks about someone is insufficient to prove the crime of defamation, the same thing applies to the crime of insulting. Furthermore, defamation requires the existence of a third party, whereas insult does not. Insult is meant to include situations in which there is a personal exchange.

If someone is found guilty of defamation, they may also be held accountable for civil responsibility, which might include paying compensation to the individual whose reputation was damaged. Defamation may occasionally be considered a criminal act under Section 499 of the Indian Penal Code, which carries a jail sentence. Under Section 504, insulting someone represents an illegal act that carries a jail sentence, a financial penalty, or both, based on how serious the behaviour was and how it affected the integrity of society. The goal is to prevent actions that disturb the peace of the general public.

3. Can a law enforcement officer use Section 504 to execute an arrest under this law?

Since a Section 504 offence is not comprehensible, an officer of law enforcement cannot arrest without an appropriate warrant for the arrest. Thus, Law enforcement officials are not authorized to carry out arrests directly per Section 504. Instead, it provides standards for treating everyone equally and without prejudice. Law enforcement officials have to adjust to a complicated legal environment that consists of administrative regulations, court decisions, and state, local, and municipal regulations.

Officers usually depend on legislation that specifies the conditions that apply when a conviction may be made when performing an arrest. The police department may face legal proceedings for violating Section 504, which might lead to the loss of government funding or civil court proceedings. Thus, law enforcement organizations must provide their workers with training on Section 504 responsibilities and guarantee that they are carried out correctly in their dealings with people.

Feel free to consult good criminal lawyers in bangalore

Leave a Comment