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We do observe in our daily life that common citizen is forced to bear bscene acts and songs may it be in public place or public vehicles and common citizen without having knowledge of law or legal provision, continues to bear though showing his displeasure. Indian Penal Code contains the provision to tackle such problems.

Section 294 of IPC deals with obscene acts and songs. Section 294 does not constitute an act done which is done in private.

To establish a conviction under this section following ingredients have to be satisfied:

  • Obscene act must be done in some public place or recitation or utterance of a song or words in or in a vicinity of the public place
  • Annoyance should be caused as a consequence


In the case of Deepa And Ors. v. S.I. of Police And Anr., 1985, the question was raised on the dance that was performed by cabaret dancers in a posh hotel. The court held that the dance performance amounted to obscenity because the dancers showed their private parts during the performance and dance was annoying to the audience.

This performance cannot be said that it was done in some private enclosure as the hotels and restaurants are accessible to the ordinary public.

In The State Of Maharashtra v. Joyce Zee Alias Temiko*, 1973, it was decided by the Bombay High Court that the hotels where the cabaret dancers perform fall under private and enclosed places where access is only allowed to persons who are willing to witness such performances, a person who is aggrieved or ‘annoyed’ after witnessing such performance cannot be protected under this section.

It is only after that such an adult consents to witness such acts that he goes to places where such performance is going on.


A person held liable under this section shall be punished either with simple or rigorous imprisonment for a term that may extend to three months., or fine, or with both.

The offence under this section is bailable, cognizable, and non-compoundable and triable by any magistrate.

Keeping the lottery office

Section 294A of IPC punishes those who keep the lotteries that are unauthorized by the government. The object of this section is to save people from getting trapped in such games whose nature is similar to that of gambling. 

This section has been inserted by the Indian Penal Code (Amendment) Act, 1870.

The two methods have been devised in order to prohibit such circulation of money, that is:

  • Charging for keeping such places or offices that draw such lotteries.
  • Penalizing the advertisements pertinent to them.


The first point of this section says that if any person keeps any place or office for the purpose of drawing such lottery that is neither a State lottery nor it is authorized by the State Government, shall be punished with simple or rigorous imprisonment for a term maximum up to six months, or fine, or both.

The second point of this section penalizes the publication of any proposal related to a lottery that is not authorized by the government. If someone does so he shall be punished with a fine extending up to one thousand rupees.

The offence under Section 294-A of the Code is non-cognizable, bailable and non-compoundable, and is triable by any magistrate.

In nutshell, it a common man wants to initiate action against the accused person, he may do so by adopting the aforesaid legal provisions and ensure the punishment as per law accordingly.

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Category Criminal Law, Other Articles by - Raj Kumar Makkad