Pushing accidently is not outraging modesty of woman under Section 354 IPC

Calcutta High Court:  In the light of the increasing misuse of laws combating crime against women,  while deciding the question  that whether any assault or criminal force as under Section 354 IPC was used on the informant with the intent  to outrage her modesty, the Court held that during an altercation, a woman, if touched or pushed  accidentally in a wrongful manner, the same cannot said to be done with an intention to outrage her modesty and hence, it will not attract the provisions of Section 354 IPC.

In the instant case, owing to an ongoing civil dispute between the landlord and the tenant, a heated exchange took place between the party and the informant, where the petitioner allegedly pushed the informant from the front touching her. The petitioner, through his counsel Mr Rajdeep Majumdar, argued that there was no intention on the part of the petitioner to outrage her modesty and accidental or unintentional touching of a lady during physical altercation will not come in the Section 354 IPC which was refuted by the State, represented by Mr Pawan Kr. Gupta and the counsel for the private opposite party Mr. Iqbal Hussain.

The Court observing the Section 354 IPC and Supreme Court decisions in Vidyadharan v. State of Kerala, (2004) 1 SCC 215, and Rupan Deol Bajaj v. Kanwar Pal Singh Gill, (1995) 6 SCC 194, observed that intention must be proved for this offence but intention is not the sole criteria for conviction as the offence can be committed by a person assaulting or using criminal force to any woman, if he knows that by such act the modesty of the woman is likely to be affected. On the basis of the facts and the rulings of the Supreme Court, the Court found that there is no use of assault or criminal force on the informant intending to outrage or knowing that it will likely outrage her modesty therefore the informant may complain for physical harassment. Sumit Kumar Gupta v. State of West Bengal, CRR 3236 of 2014, decided on 22.04. 2014

To read the full judgment, refer to SCCOnLine

2 comments

  • Misuse of 354 A by Female
    Section 354 A of Indian Judiciary Law was introduced to protect the women and their dignity in the country ;However the flaw remained as it was framed as one sided Law which overlooks dignity of Men in the country.
    As a result many false cases and misuse of section 354A by females have been reported till date . It is a request and need of the hour that Government must make the law fool proof so that its not misused by any female to defame /trap any innocent person for their personal grudges/fights.
    1. This section has provision that , any Female can lodge the complaint /FIR even for back dated incident in a fit of rage and section says even if female quotes that some men has touched her inappropriately that too without any eye witness, still police can arrest the person without preliminary investigation and send him to police custody without any evidence proving the allegations.
    2. Another important point in this , that any female can use this section 354 A to Harass male members by falsely implicating him the charges in order to take personal revenge or settle family disputes, since this section supports Female version/complaint is prima face final without any evidence/eye witness
    3. The interesting part of the story is that the female who is lodging the complaint need not even hire any lawyer to defend her side nor need to attend the trails. The person who is implicated needs to face the trails and struggle to prove his innocence and have to spent on lawyer fees, it means multiple one sided trauma and harassment . The law fails in controlling the crime instead has become a tool for few people who use it to frame people easily for handling family issues and personal fights.
    The law is one sided and has a blind eye towards the other part of the story.
    4. It is high time to amend the provisions of the law by balancing both parties so that justice is not denied to the innocent person
    5. Recently, I came across a relevant case of my close relative & hence sharing this.
    The female member is a distant relative and has lodged a false complaint against her own relative for taking revenge on other family issue/fight/conflict. In such case there is not only defamation of the family but also lead to mental harassment which can even lead to critical permanent health damages which are irreparable.
    6. Any suggestion/advice /support for such open misuse of this section 354A?

  • to prove the intention is vrey difficult .inthis case how could it proved that accused was not intended for the alleged offence..his knowledge that it should not be done with a woman itself proves his intention

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