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Section 354 – Indian Penal Code (IPC)

 

Indian Penal Code (IPC)

 

Section 354. 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.

 

CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE

 

Punishment—Imprisonment for 2 years, or fine, or both—Cogniza­ble—Bailable—Triable by any Magistrate—Non-compoundable.

 

State Amendments

 

Andhra Pradesh

 

For section 354, the following section shall be substituted, namely—

 

354. 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 five years but which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine:

 

Provided that the court may, for adequate and special reasons to be mentioned in the judgment, impose a sentence of imprisonment of either description for a term which may be less than five years but which shall not be less than two years.

 

[Vide Andhra Pradesh Act 6 of 1991].

 

Madhya Pradesh

 

After section 354, the following new section shall be inserted, namely—

 

354A. Assault or use Criminal force to woman with intent to disrobe her.—Whoever assaults or uses criminal force to any woman or abets or conspires to assault or uses such criminal force to any woman intending to outrage or knowing it to be likely that by such assault, he will thereby outrage or causes to be outraged the modesty of the woman by disrobing or compel her to be naked on any public place, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than one year but which may extend to ten years and shall also be liable to fine.”.

 

[Vide Madhya Pradesh Act 14 of 2004, sec. 3 (w.e.f. 2-12-2004)].

 

Orissa

 

In the First Schedule to the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 in the entry under column 5 relating to section 354 of the Indian Penal Code 1860 for the word ‘bailable’ the word ‘non-bailable’ shall be substituted.

 

[Vide Orissa Act 6 of 1995, sec. 3 (w.e.f. 10-3-1995)].

 

Comments

 

Ingredients

 

What constitutes an outrage to female modesty is nowhere defined. 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 beings as a class. It is a virtue which attaches to a female owing to her sex. The act of pulling a woman, removing her saree, coupled with a request for sexual intercourse, is such as would be an outrage to the modesty of a woman; and knowledge, that modesty is likely to be outraged, is sufficient to constitute the offence without any deliberate intention having such outrage alone for its object. As indicated above, the word ‘modesty’ is not defined in I.P.C.; Raju Pandurang Mahale v. Sta
te of Maharashtra, AIR 2004 SC 1677.

 

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Indian Penal Code (IPC)

 

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