Can Woman Outrage Woman’s Modesty?
A Mumbai Metropolitan Magistrates Court of MM Manoj Vasantrao Chavan ruled that Section 354 of the IPC is gender neutral in relation to the offender, and thus convicted and sentenced a mother of three to one year in prison for invading another woman’s modesty.The bench emphasised that Section 354 IPC is “not a sexual offence,” but rather falls under the chapter of “Criminal Force and Assault,” with the necessary ingredients including the use of criminal force with the intent or knowledge to offend a woman’s modesty.Accused Rovena Bhosale was thus convicted under sections 323 and 354 of the IPC on September 19, 2020, for assaulting her neighbour and tearing her nightgown in the building passage in front of several other people due to a long-standing dispute.According to one of the witness, the victim was beaten with a shoe and was completely naked after her nightdress was ripped.The accused’s lawyer argued that both women are neighbours, and there was no intention to offend her modesty. The section did not apply to a woman.The Court observed that as per section 8 of the IPC, the pronoun “he” used in section 354 IPC can refer to either a male or a female, therefore under section 354 IPC, both a man and a woman can be held guilty of the offence of assaulting or using criminal force against any woman with the intention or knowledge that the woman’s modesty will be outraged and punished for the offence.Considering the evidence presented, the court concluded that by beating the informant and tearing her nightie, the accused has violated the informant’s right to privacy. The court ruled that when force is used against a woman without her consent or against her will, it becomes criminal.However, because the accused was a mother of three children, the youngest of whom was only 1.5 years old, the court sentenced her to the minimum punishment for the offence.Also read:Sending Obscene Messages to Fiancé is not an insult to her modesty, Court Acquits ManSahil Kapoor Granted Anticipatory Bail by Mumbai court Over Allegations of Insulting Modesty of WomanThrowing Chit at a Woman That Professes Love for Her Amounts to Offence U/s 354 & 509 IPC: HCMotor Accident Claim: Whether Insurance Company Liable to Compensate if the Offending Vehicle Was Stolen One? Answers Delhi HCSupreme Court Lawyers Are More Meritorious than HC Lawyers: SCBA President Vikas Singh Asked to withdraw comment
Dr. Ajay Kummar Pandey( LLM, MBA, (UK), PhD, AIMA, AFAI, PHD Chamber, ICTC, PCI, FCC, DFC, PPL, MNP, BNI, ICJ (UK), WP, (UK), MLE, Harvard Square, London, CT, Blair Singer Institute, (USA), Dip. in International Crime, Leiden University, the Netherlands )Advocate & Consultant, Supreme Court of India & High Courts4C Supreme Law International, Delhi, NCR. Mumbai & DubaiTel: M- 91- 9818320572. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org