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Can a woman be punished for outraging the modesty of a woman?

Animals can understand the pain of another animal when it is slaughtered or confirmed. No matter how sympathetic a human is, he will never understand the pain of the animal. In the same way, a prudent person can expect a woman to understand the pain of another woman. However in most of the offences against women, women are equally engaged. For instance – eleven women along with a man, ripped the clothes of a 22 years old woman and paraded her naked.

 

Section 354 of Indian Penal Code

 

Section 354 of Indian Penal Code talks about using criminal force or assaults women with intention to outrage her modesty. This section states that if anyone is having intention to outrage the modesty of a woman or knowing that his act will amount to outrage her modesty then he shall be punishable under this section.

Punishment – punishment under this section is imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than one year but may extend to five years along with fine.

 

Before we delve further, let’s understand what section 8

of Indian Penal Code talks about. Section 8 states that the word “he” is used for both male and female.

In National Legal Service Authority v. U.O.I (2014) the supreme court recognised members of Transgender Community.

 

Eleven women & a men held guilty

Fact

In this case, eleven women and a man ripped the clothes of a 22 years old woman and paraded her naked in their local area in Sewri, Maharashtra. This incident took place in 2010 while the court gave its judgement in 2015.

Issue

Whether a woman will be punishable for the offence under Section 354 of Indian Penal Code for outraging the modesty of a woman?

Held

Court held the eleven women punishable for the offence and provided imprisonment for two years. The court also held that under section 8 of Indian Penal Code, gender includes both male and female but they are dedicated as “he”. Therefore, women can also fall under the preview of the aforementioned mentioned section.

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