harassement of woman

what sections we have to mention for harassement of woman
Retired employee.

The complaint depends on facts, and not constructing events as per sections.  The facts may be stated in the complaint and it is left to those authorities to state such sections.


Hello there, 

Sec 354A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 talks about s*xual harassment. It states "s*xual harassment is: unwelcome physical contact and advances, including unwanted and explicit s*xual overtures, a demand or request for s*xual favors, showing someone s*xual images (p*rnography) without their consent, and making unwelcome s*xual remarks."

The punishment under Section 354A is up to 3years of in prison and a fine. 

I hope I was able to answer your query.

With regards,

Samayeta Bal


What are the facts? What is the context?


Consult and engage a local prudent lawyer for appreciation of facts/ documents involved in the post, which you have concealed from experts in your query, professional advise and necessary proceeding.

Dy Director

please come with facts.



Outraging Modesty of Women

The law (Section 354 IPC) makes it a special crime to use force against a woman, or even threaten to use force, if the intention is to 'outrage her modesty'. It treats it more seriously than normal and criminal force by allowing the police to make arrests for such crimes without a warrant.

The law does not explain what 'outraging modesty' means. Courts usually make this determination by looking at all circumstances surrounding the incident. The Supreme Court referred to 'modesty' as feminine decency and a virtue that women possess owing to their s*x.

The punishment is jail time of between one and five years along with a fine.

Important: It is not enough that the victim's modesty is outraged. It is an offence only when the accused intended or knew it to be likely that the acts in question would outrage the victim's modesty.

Example: Ramesh pulls on Nina's clothes while playing Holi and rips her T-shirt apart. It is a crime only if Ramesh intended or knew it to be likely that his acts would outrage Nina's modesty.


Sexual Harassment

According to (Section 354A IPC), Sexual harassment is the:

  • Unwelcome touching or other physical contact
  • Asking or demanding s*x or any other s*xual activity
  • Making remarks which are of a s*xual nature
  • Showing p*rnographic material which may include videos, magazines, books etc.

There is a separate law on s*xual harassment at workplaces - The Sexual Harassment of women at workplace (prevention, prohibition and redressal) Act and Rules 2013 . There are provisions in the main criminal law (the Indian Penal Code or IPC) which are different from the special law on s*xual harassment:

  • The IPC is not limited to s*xual harassment at the workplace, but punishes such harassment done anywhere.
  • The IPC makes it possible to file a criminal complaint if you have been s*xually harassed, while the special law gives you the option of seeking civil remedies and damages, involving your office administration.

The punishment for the first three kinds of s*xual harassment is three years as compared to the fourth type (making s*xually coloured remarks) which is one year.


Peeping Toms punished

According to Section 354C IPC, it is a crime to look at or capture (say by means of a photograph or video) a woman going about her private acts, where she thinks that no one is watching her. This includes a woman:

  • using a toilet, or
  • who is undressed or in her underwear, or
  • engaged in a s*xual act.

The legal term for such acts is voyeurism.

The punishment is jail time of between one and three years along with a fine. If someone is found guilty of committing the same crime more than one time, the punishment is jail time of between three and seven years along with a fine.

What if the woman agrees to have her photo taken?

If the woman agrees to private photos, it is not a crime to take them. However, if she expects them to remain with only certain people, then sharing them is a crime. The law makes it clear that the woman has to expressly consent to both, watching/taking pictures as well as sharing them, for it to not be an offence.

Example: Naina lets Ajay take a few pictures of her while nude for him to work on his sketch. Ajay shares those photos with his friends on Whatsapp. This could amount to a crime under the provision on voyeurism.



According to Section 354D IPC, Stalking is -

  • Continuously following a woman or contacting her,
  • Either online or in person
  • Where she has clearly shown she doesn't want the attention

It is punished by three years for a first offence, and five years for repeat offences.

The section makes an exception if a person is stalking a woman as part of a legal duty to do so.

Example: Jeevan is a police officer tracking down a drugs shipment and has been monitoring emails received by Stuti. This would be covered by the exception.

The punishment is jail time of up to three years along with a fine. If someone is found guilty of committing the same crime more than one time, the punishment is jail time of up to five years along with a fine






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