The Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955

1)     Punishment for enforcing religious disabilities
Whoever on the ground of “untouchability” prevents any person -
(i)    from entering any place of public worship which is open to other persons professing the same religion or any section thereof, as such person, or
(ii)  from worshipping or offering prayers or performing any religious service in any place of public worship, or bathing in, or using the waters of, any sacred tank, well, spring or water course(river or lake or bathing at any ghat of such tank, water- course, river or lake) in the same manner and to the same extent as is permissible to the other persons professing the same religion or any section thereof, as such person,
shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term from one month to six months and also with fine from one hundred rupees to five hundred rupees.
Explanation - For the purposes of this section and section 4 persons professing the Buddhist, Sikh or Jaina religion or persons professing the Hindu religion in any of its forms or development including Virashaivas, Ligayats, Adivassis, followers of Brahmo, Prasthana, thana, Arya Samaj and the Swaminaryan Sampraday shall be deemed to be Hindus.
2)     Punishment for enforcing social disabilities
Whoever on the ground of “untouchability” enforces against any person any disability with regard to-
(i)    access to any shop, public restaurant, hotel or place of public entertainment; or
(ii)  the use of any utensils, and other articles kept in any public restaurant, hotel, dharamshala, sarai or musafirkhana  for the use of the general public or of (any section thereof); or
(iii)                     the practice of any profession or the carrying on any of occupation, trade or business ( or employment in any job); or
(iv) the use of, or access to, any river, stream, spring, well, tank, cister, water-tap or other watering place, or any bathing ghat, burial or cremation ground, any sanitary convenience, any road, or passage, or any other place of public resort which other members of the public or (any section thereof), have a right to use or have access to; or
(v)  the use of, or access to, any place used for a charitable or a public purpose maintained wholly or partly out of State funds or dedicated to the use of the general public or (any section thereof); or
(vi) the enjoyment of any benefit under a charitable trust created for the benefit of the general public or of (any section thereof); or
(vii)                  the use of, or access to, any public conveyance; or
(viii)                the construction, acquisition, or occupation of any residential   premises in any locality, whatsoever;or
(ix) the use of any dharamshala, sarai or musafirkhana,  which is opeon to        the general public, or to (any section thereof); or
(x)   the observance of any social or religious custom, usage or ceremony or (taking part in, or taking out, any religious, social or cultural procession); or
(xi)  the use of jewellery and finery,
shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term of not less than one month and not more than six months and also with fine which shall be not less than one hundred rupees and not more than five hundred rupees.

3)     Punishment for refusing to admit person to hospitals, etc.
Whoever on the ground of “untouchability” enforces against any person any disability with regard to-
(i) refuses admission on any person to any hospital, dispensary, educational institution or any hostel, if such hospital, dispensary, educational institution or hostel is established or maintained for the benefit of the general public or any section thereof; or
(ii)                     does any act which discriminates against any such person after admission to any of the aforesaid institutions,

shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term of not less than one month and not more than six months and also with fine which shall be not less than one hundred rupees and not more than five hundred rupees.

4)     Punishment for refusing to sell goods or render services
Whoever on the ground of “untouchability” refuses to sell any goods or refuses to render any service to any person at the same time and place and on the same terms and conditions at or which such goods are sold or services are rendered to other persons in the ordinary courses of business shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term of not less than one month and not more than six months and also with fine which shall be not less than one hundred rupees and not more than five hundred rupees.

5)     Punishment for other offences arising out of “untouchability”-
 (1) Whoever-

(a) prevent any person from exercising any right accruing to him by reason of the abolition of “untouchability” under article 17 of the Constitution; or
(b) molests, injures, annoys, obstructs or causes or attempts to cause obstruction to any person in the exercise of any such right or molests, injures, annoys or boycotts any person by reason of his having exercised any such right; or
(c) by words, either spoken or written, or by signs or by visible representations or otherwise, incites or encourages any person or class of persons or the public generally to practise “untouchability”in any form whatsoever; or
(d) insults or attempts to insult, on the ground of “untouchability” a member of Scheduled Castes.

shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term of not less than one month and not more than six months,  and also with fine which shall be not less than one hundred rupees and not more than five hundred rupees.          

Explanation (IA) person shall be deemed to boycott another person who

(a) refuses to let to such other person or refuses to permit such other person, to use or occupy any house or land or refuses to deal with, work for hire for, or do business with, such other person or to render to him or receive from him any customary service, or refuses to do any of the said things on the terms on which such things would be commonly done in the ordinary course of business; or
(b) abstains from such social, professional or business relations as he would ordinarily maintain with such other person.




Explanation II for the purpose of clause
(c) a person shall be deemed to incite or encourage the practice of “untouchability”.

(i) if he, directly or indirectly, preaches “untouchability” or its practice in any form; or
                (ii) if he justifies, whether on historical, philosophical or religious grounds or on the ground of any tradition of the caste system or on any other ground, the practice of “untouchability” in any form.

(1A) Whoever commits any offence against the person or property of any individual as a repraisal or revenge for his having exercised any right accruing to him by reason of the abolition, of “untouchability” under article 17 of the Constitution, shall, where the offence is punishable with imprisonment for a term exceeding two years, be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than two years and also with fine.

(2) Whoever

(i) denies to any person belonging to his community or any section thereof any right or privilege to which such person would be entitled as a member of such community or section, or

(ii)    takes any part in the ex-communication of such person, on the ground that such person has refused to practice “untouchability” that such person has done any act in furtherance of the objects of this Act,

shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term of not less than one month and not more than six months, and also with the fine which shall be not less than one hundred rupees and not more than five hundred rupees.


6)     Unlawful compulsory labour when to be  deemed to be a practice of “untouchability”-
(1) Whoever compels any person, on the ground of “untouchability”, to do any scavenging or sweeping or to remove any carcasss or to flay any animal, or to remove the umbilical cord or to do any other job of a similar nature shall be deemed to have enforced a disability arising out of “untouchabliity”.

(2) Whoever is deemed under sub-section (I) to have enforced a disability arising out of “untouchability” shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three months and not more than six months and also with fine which shall not be less than one hundred rupees and not more than five hundred rupees.

Explanation: For the purposes of this section, “compulsion” includes a threat of social or economic boycott.)


7)     Cancellation or suspension of licenses in certain cases---
When a person who is convicted of an offence, under section 6 holds any license under any law for the time being in force in respect of any profession, trade, calling or employment in relation to which the offence is committed, the court trying the offence may, without prejudice to any other penalty to which such person may be liable under that section, direct that the license shall stand cancelled or be suspended for such period as the court may deem fit, and every order of the court so canceling or suspending a license shall have effect as if it had been passed by the authority competent to cancel or suspend the license under any such law.

Explanation - In this section, “license” includes a permit or permission.

8)     Resumption or suspension of grants made by Government
Where the manager or trustee of a place of public worship (or any educational institution or hostel) which is in receipt of a grant of land or money from the Government is convicted of an offence under this Act and such conviction is not reversed or quashed in any appeal or revision, the Government may, if in its opinion the circumstances of the case warrant such a course, direct the suspension or resumption of the whole or any part of such grant.


9)     Abetment of Office
Whoever abets any offence under this Act shall be punishable with the punishment provided for the offence.


10) Enhanced penalty on subsequent conviction
Whoever having already been convicted of an offence under this Act or of an abetment of such offence is again convicted of any such offence or abetment, shall, on conviction, be punishable - 
(a) for the second offence, with imprisonment for a term of not less than six months and not more than one year, and also with fine which shall be not less than two hundred rupees and not more than five hundred rupees;
(b) for the third offence or any offence subsequent to the third offence with imprisonment a term of not less than one year and not more than two years, and also with fine which shall be not less than five hundred and not more than one thousand rupees.


11) Enhanced penalty on subsequent conviction
Whoever having already been convicted of an offence under this Act or of an abetment of such offence is again convicted of any such offence or abetment, shall, on conviction, be punishable--- 
(a) for the second offence, with imprisonment for a term of not less than six months and not more than one year, and also with fine which shall be not less than two hundred rupees and not more than five hundred rupees;

(b) for the third offence or any offence subsequent to the third offence with imprisonment a term of not less than one year and not more than two years, and also with fine which shall be not less than five hundred and not more than one thousand rupees.