Obscene Acts and Songs - IPC Section 294

Obscene Acts and Songs - IPC Section 294

Anyone who in the absolute annoyance of others or the public in general -

  1. Particularly commits to doing an obscene act in any public place, or

  2. Particularly commits to doing things like reciting, singing, uttering an obscene song, ballad, or words, near or within any public place,

They shall be punished with imprisonment that stretches for a term that can extend to about 3 months, or with a certain amount of fine, or with both of them.

Section 294A:

To Keep a lottery Office: Anyone who places an Office or a certain place for the very purpose of a lottery or drawing one that is authorized by the State Government and who shall be punished with imprisonment for a term or a term that may primarily extend to about 6 months, or with a certain precise amount of fine or with both,

And anyone who goes on to publish any proposal to pay any sum, or to particularly deliver any sort of goods, to forbear to doing anything for the benefit of any person, or to do something in benefit of another person, or on any event or contingency relative or applicable to the drawing of any ticket, lot, number or figure in any such lottery they shall be punished with a certain amount of fine which may extend to about 1000 rupees.

Is IPC 294 bailable?

Bailable Offences are Offences in their entirety that can get a grant of bail, it is purely a matter of right, where the arrested person is released after the bail is granted. It may either be given by a police officer who is having custody of the accused in the course of law. Section 294 of the Indian Penal Code is a bailable offence. Offences that are Bailable are comparatively less serious when compared to non-bailable offences.

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What is the punishment for a case under Section 294 of the Indian Penal Code?

Anyone held guilty of Obscene acts or songs under Section 294 of IPC, shall be punished with imprisonment that stretches for a term that can extend to about 3 months, or with a certain amount of fine, or with both of them.

Is IPC 294 cognizable offence or non-cognizable offence?

A Cognizable offence is an offence in which, a case in which, a police officer may,  under or in accordance with the law have the provision to arrest without warrant, while a non-cognizable offence is an offence wherein, the police officer responsible for that case, will have no authority to arrest the person involved without a warrant. They are considered comparatively less serious than cognizable offences and the cognizable offences include cases in which the Police are given the authority to arrest a person without a warrant. Section 294 of the Indian Penal Code is a Cognizable Offence.

How to defend or file your case for IPC Section 294 offence?

To File a case under Section 294 of the Indian Penal Code: A written complaint by a lawyer can be the first point way to start at or have an FIR registered, in any Police Station where the complainant has clear permission to details related to the same and for it to be registered

To Defend the case under Section 294 of IPC: The accused wishing to defend themselves against the accusations so raised him or her under Section 294 of Indian Penal Code, then they can hire a capable lawyer who understands the whole process of the circumstances so laid out in this particular case and for the defense of any case which depends upon the circumstances that are emphasized in this case, with a clear purpose to reduce or exempt the punishment given to the accused.

Any famous judgment w.r.t. IPC 294 if any?

Ramdutt Singh And Anr. vs Gram Kutchery Of Naudiha: This was an application submitted which was aimed to quash the verdict passed by the Gram Panchayat Court under Article 227 of the Constitution of India, which was directed to two petitioners who were accused of Section 294 of the Indian Penal Code and held guilty by the Panchayat. Some primary facts included the connection that needed to be emphasized, here the complainant had gone on to state that there was a domestic dispute between them and one of them had been threatened that his land was in front of his house and that it would be plowed up and that the passage to the house would be completely blocked by a thorn hedge.

On the 5th of July 1954, the complainant had a threat that was carried out by two petitioners who had demolished the complainant's ridge and had also gone on to amalgamate his land with theirs. The complainant then approached the Panchayat and on the 6th of July, 1954, some Panches visited the disputed land, to diligently measure the same with reference to a map, after figuring that out they fixed the boundary of the complainant's field and started demarcating it by pegs that were planted.

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The petitioners in this case uprooted the pegs and threw them away without a thought. A compromise between the parties was given a try, yet, the witnesses on both sides were then examined by the Panchayat Court and it was held that the petitioners were guilty under Section 294 of IPC. The important part of the findings was that. The Uprooting had caused the demolition of the ridge and an amalgamation of the complainant's land with own land, and also the further consequences of blocking the passage of the complainant by raising a thorn hedge. The accused was clearly held guilty under Section 294 of the Indian Penal Code.

It wasn’t in any way rectified that in order to merely annoy the complainant the accused did any obscene act or sung or recited any obscene songs or uttered any obscene words relative to mischief. They might have given vent to their displeasure in some violent or obscene language, as is usual with such villagers and when some Panches went to the spot and started demarcating these respective lands, they were never accused with a charge for with planned prior intention using obscene language or other violent activities they had resorted to. It was never the prosecution case that the petitioners did anything which might have brought them within the mischief of Section 294, Indian Penal Code. 

The complainant in clarity could not attempt to allege that the land in front of the complainant's house was a public place. Therefore it can be claimed that this was a matter of extreme surprise to find a conviction under Section 294, IPC. When the Bench had no jurisdiction to try persons for an offence which was constituted by acts which were done by them. Particularly when the conviction so laid out is for an offence which was never the prosecution’s case in the first place, the High Court, in this case, had, moved the Subdivisional Officer who did have the jurisdiction to try and set aside the sentence or the conviction. The fine that was to be paid, if they were paid, was asked to be refunded.

 This Article is drafted by Ms. Archana Nair, BBA LLB, Alliance University.
Offence Punishment Cognizance Bail Triable By
Obscene Acts and Songs Imprisonment, up to 3 months or fine or both Cognizable Bailable Any Magistrate
Offence Obscene Acts and Songs
Punishment Imprisonment, up to 3 months or fine or both
Cognizance Cognizable
Bail Bailable
Triable By Any Magistrate


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