Anticipatory Bail In Section 354 IPC

Anticipatory Bail In Section 354 IPC

Introduction of section 354 IPC

The section 354 of the IPC is related to the use criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty. According to this section when a person doing any act like pulling a woman, touched her with bad intention and removing her dress coupled with a request for sexual intercourse, is such would be an outrage to the modesty of a woman and knowledge that modesty is likely to be outraged, is sufficient to constitute the offence under section 354 IPC against the person.

Essential ingredients of the offence punishable under section 354 Indian Penal Code are that the person assaulted must be a woman, and the accused must have used criminal force on her intending thereby to outrage her modesty. What constitutes an outrage to female modesty is nowhere defined. The essence of a woman’s modesty is her sex. The culpable intention of the accused is the crux of the matter. The reaction of the woman is very relevant, but its absence is not always decisive. Modesty in this Section is an attribute associated with female human beings as a class. It is a virtue which attaches to a female owing to her sex.. As indicated above, the word ‘modesty’ is not defined in Indian Penal Code. The Shorter Oxford Dictionary (Third Edn.) defines the word ‘modesty’ in relation to a woman as follows :

“Decorous in manner and conduct; not forward or lowe; Shame-fast; Scrupulously chast.”

Meaning of Modesty Observed by the Court –

Modesty can be described as the quality of being modest; and in relation to woman, “womanly propriety of behaviour; scrupulous chastity of thought, speech and conduct.” It is the reserve or sense of shame proceeding from instinctive aversion to impure or coarse suggestions. As observed by Justice Patterson in Rex v. James Llyod, 1876(7) C&P 817.

Main Ingredients of Section 354 Indian Penal Code are :-

(1) That the criminal force must be on a woman.

(2) That the accused must have assault on woman.

(3) That the criminal force must have been used on the woman intending thereby to outrage her modesty.

Anticipatory Bail In Section 354 IPC –

It is undoubtedly correct that if intention or knowledge is one of the ingredients of any offence, it has to be proved like other ingredients for convicting a person. But, it is also equally true that those ingredients being states of mind may not be proved by direct evidence and may have to be inferred from the attending circumstances of a given case. In the case of Rupan Deol  Bajaj Vs K.P.S Gill,urged by Mr. Tulsi, that even it was assumed that Mr. Gill had outraged the modesty of Mrs. Bajaj still no offence under Section 354 Indian Penal Code could be said to have been committed by him for the other ingredient of the offence, namely, that he intended to do so was totally lacking. He urged that the culpable intention of the offender in committing the act is that the crux of the matter and not the results thereof. To buttress his contention he invited our attention to the subsequent passage from the judgment of this Court in Hitendra Vishnu Thakur v. State of Maharashtra, (1994)4 SCC 602 : 1994(3) Recent Criminal Reports 156, (one of us, namely Anand, J.was a party).

“Thus truth ambit and scope of Section 3(1) is that no conviction under Section 3(1) of TADA are often recorded unless the evidence led by the prosecution establishes that the offence was committed with the intention as envisaged by Section 3(1) by means of the weapons etc. as enumerated within the section and was committed with the motive as postulated by the said section. Even at the value of repetition, we may say that where it’s only the consequence of the criminal act of an accused that terror, fear or panic is caused, but the crime was not committed with the intention as envisaged by Section 3(1) to achieve the objective as envisaged by the Section, an accused should not be convicted for an offence under Section 3(1) of TADA. To bring home a charge under Section 3 (1) of the Act, the fear or panic etc. must be actually intended with a view to realize the result as envisaged by the said section and not be merely an incidental fall out or a consequence of the criminal activity. Every crime, being a revolt against the society, involves some violent activity which ends up in a point of panic or creates some fear or terror within the people or a section thereof, but unless the panic, fear or terror was intended and was sought to realize either of the objectives as envisaged in Section 3(1), the offence wouldn’t fall stricto sensu under TADA.”

As per the above discussion for getting anticipatory bail in section 354 IPC, a person would have to show that his act was not with intent to outrage her modesty.

Conclusion –

The intention of the act is important. The act has been done with intention to outrage the modesty of woman or not is the point of arguments.


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