“No Evidence Gurdas Maan Forced Acceptance of Laddi Shah as Descendant: Punjab & Haryana HC”

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has refused to cancel the report filed by singer Gurdas Maan, which was submitted by the Punjab Police under Section 295-A of the IPC.

This section deals with deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage the religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs. Gurdas Maan was accused of hurting the religious sentiments of the Sikh community by stating that Laddi Shah is a descendant of Shri Guru Amar Das Ji during an event.

Justice Sandeep Moudgil noted that there is no direct or indirect evidence suggesting that Gurdas Maan pressured any individual or group from a particular community to accept Laddi Shah as a descendant of Shri Guru Amar Das Ji. He stated that it is up to an individual’s belief whether to accept Maan’s claim or not. The court considers sensitivity but also has to look at things rationally.

Court Observations

The court emphasized that freedom of expression must be protected as it enables personal autonomy, dignity, and well-being through self-expression. For a case under this offense to proceed, the insult must be intentional and severe enough to provoke a public disturbance or incite another offense.

The judge mentioned that the lower court concluded, after examining the pen drive with video footage of Gurdas Maan and its Punjabi transcript, that there is no evidence of intentional harm to the petitioner or community or any intent to hurt religious sentiments.

The court took note of the fact that Gurdas Maan had apologized for the incident, and the transcript of his apology is on record. After hearing arguments from both sides, the court agreed with the lower court’s decision to accept the cancellation report and refused to annul it.

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About the Author: Meera Verma