A screenshot of public notice has been making the rounds on social media recently. Citing the offences listed under Sections 427 and 2/3 of the Public Property Act 1985, it says that individuals can be imprisoned for three years. The offences include damaging mosque property, obstructing mosque functioning or operations, staff, or intimidating any member affiliated with the mosque. The offences are categorised as non-bailable.

The image is widespread on Facebook and Twitter with the claim that the change has been brought about by the Rajasthan government.

[Viral Hindi message: राजस्थान कांग्रेस सरकार के द्वारा बहुत ही महत्वपूर्ण IPc की धारा में मदरसा मस्जिद के संदर्भ में निर्णय लेकर तमाम आलम ए इस्लाम के लोगों को राहत.]

We also received a few requests to verify it on the Alt News mobile app and WhatsApp number.

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Fact-check

Alt News will investigate the claims being made in the picture one by one.

1. Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, 1984

The Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act came into effect in 1984. However, the notice has erroneously written ‘1985’. The Act has provisions that cover punishment for causing damage to public property. According to the Act, public property is defined as any property which is owned by, or in the possession of, or under the control of the Central Government; any State government; any local authority; any corporation established by or under any Central, Provincial or State Act; any company or any institution. Damage to this property is punishable by imprisonment of at least one year or a fine. There is also a provision for bail in this legislation.

The Act talks about punishing offenders for causing damage to any public property, not just mosques.

2. IPC Section 427

As per Section 427, individuals who commit mischief and thereby cause loss or damage to the amount of Rs 50 or more would be punished under this section with a jail term which may extend to two years and/or a fine.

How are laws framed?

The Legislative Assembly has the power to draft laws on 66 subjects in the State List. Apart from this, it can also introduce legislation on 47 subjects on the Concurrent List. However, these cannot be in contradiction with laws made by the Parliament. In such cases, only the law made by the Parliament would be in effect.

Any bill passed by the State government is sent to the governor and passed after his approval.

There have been no reports on such a bill being introduced or any such Act being passed in the Rajasthan Assembly. Neither is there any information to corroborate the claims in the viral image on the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly website. The Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Act 2021 was recently introduced in the Assembly.

Rajasthan government debunks viral notice

Lokesh Sharma, OSD to Rajasthan’s Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, clarified that the image is fake.

Rajasthan police also posted a tweet denying the claims in circulation.

A fake image was, therefore, circulated on social media with the false claim that the Rajasthan government amended Sections 427 of the IPC and 2/3 of the Public Property Act 1985 in order to protect mosques/madrasas.

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