IPC Section 354


The IPC SECTION 354 READS AS FOLLOWS

Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty.—Whoever assaults or uses criminal force to any woman, intending to outrage or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby outrage her modesty, shall be punished with impris­onment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.


Section 354 IPC refers to the act of any criminal act committed against a woman to outrage her modesty. The objective of IPC 354 is enhanced by the introduction of four new sections on the Criminal Law Amendment Act (13 of 2013). These sections are Section 354 A, Section 354 B, Section 354 C, and Section 354 D respectively.


Sec 354 IPC, is defined as “Whoever assaults or uses criminal force to any woman, intending to outrage or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby outrage her modesty1, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than one year but which may extend to five years, and shall also be liable to fine.


The word ‘assault’ means to cause a physical attack. Assault is not limited to cases where a woman is physically abused. It includes any verbal actions and gestures that are intended to outrage the modesty of a woman.


The concept of Modesty is not defined anywhere. The question that arises is what does the word Modesty mean in the context of a woman?


In the Case of Raju Pandurang Mahale V State of Maharashtra, The Supreme Court Defined the ingredients that constitute the crux of Woman's Modesty


In the case of State of Punjab v. Major Singh, it was held that "Outraging the modesty of a woman is an offense- indecent behavior and not the age of the woman is the criteria to determine the offense of outraging the modesty punishable under section 354, IPC"


​Offence

Punishment

Assault or use of criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty

1 to 5 years + Fine

Cognizance

Bail

Triable By

Cognizable

Non-Bailable

Any Magistrate

The ambit of Section 354 Indian Penal Code is Wide. it is a Cognizable Offence and Non-Bailable To provide Protection against the sexual assault the following further sections were added.

  1. Section 354 A- Sexual Harassment and Punishment For Sexual Harassment

  2. Section 354 B- Assault or use of criminal force to women with intent to disrobe

  3. Section 354 C- Voyeurism

  4. Section 354 D- Stalking




An accused can be tried for both, causing assault with intent to outrage the modesty of women and for causing sexual harassment



After the addition of the sections Delhi high court in the matter of T Manikadan v. The State ( Govt of NCT of Delhi) it was held that there is no illegality in convicting accused under the Sec 354, 354 A IPC simultaneously

It was Observed that the basic elements required to constitute an offense under Sec. 354 Indian Penal Code and Section. 354 A were duly fulfilled and the accused was held guilty for both the offenses


IPC SECTION 354 A

Sexual Harassment and punishment for sexual harassment

A man Committing any of the following acts-

(i) Physical contact and advances involving unwelcome and explicit sexual overtures or

(ii) a Demand or request for sexual favors or

(iii) showing pornography against the will of a woman or

(iv) making sexually colored remarks shall be guilty of the offense

of Sexual harassment

(2) Any man who commits the offence specified in clause (i) or

clause (ii) or clause (iii) of sub-section (1) shall be punished with

rigorous imprisonment for for a term which may extend to three

years or with fine, or with both

(3) Any man who commits the offense specified in clause (iv) of subsection (1) shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year or with fine or both



Offence

Punishment

Sexual harassment of the nature of unwelcome physical contact and advances or a demand or request for sexual favours or showing pornography

Upto 3 Years or Fine or Both

Sexual harassment of the nature of making sexually coloured remark

Upto 1 Year of Fine or Both


Cognizance

Bail

Triable by

Cognizable

Bailable

Any Magistrate

Cognizable

Bailable

Any Magistrate

IPC SECTION 354 B

Any man who assaults or uses criminal force to any woman or abets such act with an intention of disrobing or compelling her to be naked shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than three years but which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

The Section Specifically states that a man with the intention to disrobe a woman using the criminal force shall be punished with imprisonment for a period not less than 3 years but which may extend to seven years & Fine

the offense is Cognizable and non-bailable



Offence

Punishment

Criminal force to woman with intent to disrobe

3years to 7years & Fine

​Cognizance

Bail

Triable By

Cognizable

Non-Bailable

Any Magistrate


IPC SECTION 354 C

Any man who watches captures the image of a woman engaging in a private act in circumstances where she would usually have the expectation of not being observed either by the perpetrator or by any other person at the behest of the perpetrator or disseminates such image shall be punished on first conviction with either description for a term which shall not be less than one year, but which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to fine, and be punished on a second or subsequent conviction, with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than three years, but which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine


Explanation

  1. For the purpose of this Section, "Private Act" Includes any act of watching the act of watching Carried out in a place which in the circumstances, would reasonably be expected to provide Privacy and where the Victim's Genitals, posterior or breast are exposed or covered only in underwear, or the Victim is using a lavatory, or the victim is doing a sexual act that is not of a kind done ordinarily done in public

  2. Where the victim consents to the capture of the images or any act, but not to their dissemination to the third persons and where such image or act is disseminated, such dissemination hall be considered an offense under this section

This Section basically makes a man liable if intentionally watches or captures a women's picture while the woman is involved doing a private act which is to be performed in utmost privacy and the woman believed that she was not being observed by anyone


In case a woman gives her consent to capture her image or allows to do any act, but now with a purpose that act will be exposed to any third person or if the person shares the picture or spreads it on a wide scale his act will be treated as an offense under the purview of this section

The offense under this section is cognizable and bailable at first conviction however in case there is a repeat offender hen the nature is cognizable and non-bailable at the time of the second conviction in both the cases, the offense will be triable by any magistrate having the jurisdiction of the matter



Offence

Punishment

Voyeurism

1 year to 3 years & Fine for First Conviction 3 years to 7 years & Fine for Second or Subsequent Conviction

Cognizance

Bail

Triable By

Cognizable

Bailable

Any Magistrate

Cognizable

Non- Bailable

Any Magistrate

IPC SECTION 354 D

Any man who-

  • Follows a woman and contacts, or attempts to contact such woman to foster personal interaction repeatedly despite a clear indication of disinterest by such woman; or

  • Monitors the use by a woman of the internet, email, or any other form of electronic communication,

Commits the offense of stalking.

Provided that such conduct shall not amount to stalking if the man who pursued it proves -

  • the act was for the purpose of preventing or detecting crime and the man accused of stalking had been entrusted with the responsibility of prevention and detection of crime by the state

  • It was Pursued under law or to comply with the conditions imposed by any person under the law

  • In circumstances, such conduct was reasonable and justified


Offence

Punishment

Stalking

Upto 3 Years + Fine for First conviction Upto 5 Years + Fine for Second and Subsequent Conviction

Cognizance

Bail

Triable by

Cognizable

Bailable

Any Magistrate

Cognizable

Non-Bailable

Any Magistrate



LIST

IPC Section 354

IPC Section 354 A

IPC Section 354 B

IPC Section 354 C

IPC Section 354 D

Raju Pandurang Mahale V State of Maharashtra

State of Punjab v. Major Singh

T Manikadan v. The State ( Govt of NCT of Delhi)


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