ANALYSIS ON SECTION 354 OF IPC

Abstract

Section 354 of Indian Penal Code (“IPC”), 1860 deals with assault or criminal force over women with an intent to outrage her modesty in Circumferences where the offender intends to do or knows that it is likely that such actions will have the same result. This piece is a legal research to interpret the judgments provided by the court consequently granting justice to the victims and helping them to grow this world positively. In favour of women because the reality is that, India is still an unsafe country for women to live but the judiciary is trying hard to implement laws to protect their rights.

Keyword:- Indian Penal Code, Section 354, Judiciary, Implement

Introduction

Definition of Section-354 of Indian Penal Code

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. In India the rate of assault in women is very high where she gets sexually harassed recently due to covid-19. we have the control over women harassing but still the factor of domestic violence is increasing women are not educated enough to raise their voice. the public the main factor which is lacking behind is the education. because women are not educated enough to know their basic fundamental rights. Indian Constitution Article 12 -35 by which women can at lest demand her basic fundamental rights even without the knowledge of whole constitution according to a survey “More than 24,000 cases concerning sexual harassment and rape are pending before the High Courts and the Supreme Court”.

  • The High Court of Allahabad has the highest pending cases of all the High Courts.
  •  A total of 1192 fast-track courts were reported functional as on 31st March, 2011.
  •  The state government and chief justices of the respective High Courts have been informed that they may utilize the fresh posts of judges to create fast- track Courts also.
  •  The Centre has requested the Chief Justices of the 21 High Courts to set up fast-track courts for speedy trails of pending rape cases in district and subordinate courts with high pendency.[1]

The essential elements for the commission of Section 354 are:-

  •  That the assault must be on a woman
  •  That the accused must have used criminal force on her
  •  That the criminal force must have been used on the woman intending thereby to outrage her modesty.

A Case which defines harassing of a women. The accused (two individuals) entered the house of the defendant. By misusing their muscle power, they tore the clothes of the prosecutor and pulled her. Eventually, the accused was convicted under section 354IPC and sentenced for one year RI, However, conviction of the accused undersection 450 IPC was set aside as the prosecutor did not suffered any injury at the hands of accused.[2]

Case law

State Of Maharashtra vs Rajendra Jawnmal Gandhi [3]on 11 September, 1997

The Court, therefore, held that the accused was guilty of an offence of having committed rape on the prosecutrix. The Trial Court also found that it was proved that the accused indulged in immoral behaviour with the prosecutrix. It, therefore, convicted the accused and sentenced him as aforesaid.

FIR and Proof

A) FIR- The FIR was lodged by the parents of the victim who were Primary school student of tender age against accused. Head master of the school though FIR the name of victim girl were not mentioned,, but the words “daughter and niece” were used for whom it was alleged that they were frightened of attending the school because culpable acts of the accused. FIR was proved by the informant in their evidence. Nothing was elicited to show that the informant bore animosity or any grudge against the accused and in cross-examination, the informant admitted to have not disclosed the name of his daughter and niece due to shyness.

Proof- A charge under this section is one which is easy to make and difficult to rebut, also one which experience shows woman are sometimes apt to make from one motive to another without the slightest foundation. So when such charges are made, it is necessary to see whether they are supported by independent evidence beside that of the statement of the woman, or are corroborated by her conduct and the surrounding circumstances and are consistent with ordinary probabilities.[4]

The evidence of prosecutor was found unreliable. Hence any part of her evidence is risky to be relied upon. The possibility of prosecutor being a willing party to entire episode cannot be ruled out. The prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt, that accused has committed an offence under sections 354 or 323 of Indian Penal Code, 1860. Hence conviction and sentence were set aside.[5]

Abduction and Outraging Modesty from the evidence on record, It clearly appears that the prosecution has proved its case beyond all reasonable doubt against the accused appellant Shoukat, as all the ingredients, have been proved by the prosecution in the manner that the accused appellant Shoukat first induced the Prosecutor Rampyari but actually there was no such jappa and relying on the statement of accused appellant Shoukat, prosecutor accompanied him in the night and when they were going on the way, the accused appellant seeing lonely place outraged her modesty and thus, it is not mere case of abduction, but purpose for proved. In these circumstances, the finding of the learned Trial Judge convicting the accused appellant Shoukat for the offence under sections 366 and 354 of IPC are liable to be confirmed. Hence, the argument that no case for the offence under section 366 IPC is made out against the accused appellant Shoukat stands rejected.[6]

 

Conclusion

The section has seen some amendments in the form of sections 354 A/B/C/D owing to

Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013. which has widened its scope and now includes sexual harassment in shackles, bound by the cage of patriarchy and gender inequality. Women won’t punishment for same, disrobing, voyeurism and stalking. The judiciary has started to recognize the faults in the society and its patriarchal structure but while on the surface it may seem to be moving towards a free and safer world, in reality, women are still struggling to tolerate such violation of their bodies, rights and being for much longer now. Not anymore.

Analysis

At last would like to conclude my whole article that, I have discussed the whole legal definition of Section-354 of Indian Penal Code. various case law which was the whole soul summary of the whole case. The basic 3 ingredients of Section-354 of Indian Penal Code are (i) That the assault must be on a woman, (ii) That the accused must have used criminal force on her, (iii) That the criminal force must have been used on the woman intending thereby to outrage her modesty. and if these are not indulging then the case must be fraud and/or not accepted in the eyes of law.

References

1. http://www.worldwidejournals.com

2. indiankanoon.org

3. papers.ssrn.com

4. theleaflet.in

5. http://www.researchgate.net


[1]Volume : 3 | Issue : 2 | Feb 2014 • ISSN No 2277 – 8160

[2]Sadiq Ali @ Babbu v. State of Punjab 2012 (3) RCR (criminal) 306 (P&H)

[3]State Of Maharashtra vs Rajendra Jawnmal Gandhi on 11 September, 1997

[4]ILR (1963) 13 Raj. 650

[5]ILR (1963) 13 Raj. 650

[6]houkat and Another v. The State of Rajasthan, 2002 Cri.LJ. 364

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