Outraging Modesty Of Women

Section 354 -

1 to 5 years punishment , or with fine or both.

presence/absence of consent of the woman is the deciding factor in this offence.

who is woman ?

Section 10 defines 'Man' and 'Woman' as a male and female human being respectively of any age.

Modesty of woman -

Modesty of a woman is a virtue attached to a woman owing to her 'sex'.


Section 354 :- Outraging Modesty of Woman


1) A woman was assaulted or Criminal force was used against her.

2) The accused intended to outrage her modesty or know that her modesty was likely to be outraged.


Section  354  IPC : 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 shall not be less than one year but which may extend to five years, and shall also be liable to fine ]


Case :- Raju pandurang Mahale v/s State of Maharashtra, AIR 2004 SC 1677 : What constitutes an outrage to female modesty is nowhere defind. The essence of a woman's modesty is her sex. The culpable intention of the accused is the crux of the matter. The reaction of the woman is very relevant, but its absence is not always decisive. Modesty in this section is an attribute associated with female human being as a class. it is a virtue of which attaches to a female owing to her sex. The act of pulling a woman, removing saree, coupled with a request for intercourse, is such as would be an outrage to the modesty of woman; and knowledge, that modesty is likely to be outrage, is sufficient to constitute the offence without any deliberate intension having such outrage alone for its object. As indicated above, the word 'modesty' is not defind such outrage alone for its object. As indicated above, the 'modesty' is not defind in I.P.C.


Following Sections were added after 2013 Amendment act.


* Section 354A - Sexual harassment.
* Section 354B - Disrobe.
* Section 354C - Voyeurism.
* Section 354D - Stalking.


Section 354A - Sexual Harassment

(1) A man committing any of the following acts -


a) Physical contact and advances involving unwelcome and explicit; or

b) A demand or request for sexual favors; or

c) Showing pornography against the will of a woman; or

d) Making sexually coloured remarks, shall be  guilty of the offence of sexual harassment.

Case :- Vishakha V. State of Rajasthan (AIR 1997 SC 3011)


• 354A was added by an amendment in 2013, before that the governing  law on sexual harassment at workplace was Vishakha guidelines given in this case.

• Sexual harassment was  described as any unwelcomed sexually determined behaviour (whether directly, indirectly or implied) like physical contact and advances, a demand or request for sexual favours, sexually coloured remarks, showing pornography and other unwelcomed physical, verbal or nonverbal conduct of sexual nature.

• The parliament has also enacted 'Sexual harassment of woman at workplace (prevention, prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013'


Section 354B - Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to disrobe :-


"Any man who assaults or use criminal force to any woman or abet such act with the intension of disrobing or compelling her to be naked, that person shall be guilty of the offence under section 354B of IPC." and that person 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.

Section 354C - Voyeurism :-

"Any man who watches, or 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 imprisonment of 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 less than three years, but which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Explanation 1.- For a person of this section, "private act" includes an act of watching carried out in a place which, in the circumstances which, would reasonably be expected to provide privacy and where the victims genitals, posterior or breasts 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 ordinarily done in public.

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


Section 354D - Stalking

Any man who :-
1) follows a woman and contacts, or attempts to contact such woman to faster personal interaction repeatedly despite a clear indication of disinterest by such woman: or

2) monitors the use by a woman of the internet, email or any other form of electronic communications, commits the offence of stalking.
(unless such acts were to prevent a crime, authorised, by state law, or were reasonable and justified)
First Conviction - up to 3 years
Subsequent Conviction - up to 5 years

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