Not every act is criminal, intention or knowledge is the requisite of outraging the woman’s modesty. Invention and knowledge is the essential part of most of the sections. But the question whether there was intention or knowledge that the act of removing trousers in the railway compartment is likely to outrage the modesty of the women?
Section 354 of Indian Penal Code
Section 354 of Indian Penal Code talks about using criminal force or assaults women with intention to outrange 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.
- Used criminal force or assault against a woman
- Intention of the accused was to outrange the modesty of the women
- Or knowledge that his act is likely to cause the same.
There must be Intention or knowledge
Ram Das v. State of West Bengal, AIR 1954 SC 711
In this case, the culprit was on a train. In the same railway compartment two women were sitting with her male counterparts. The culprit removed his trousers (under which he was wearing underwear) at night just to make himself comfortable on the journey.
The women made an allegation that he was looking at them with lustful eyes. However, there was no evidence of such an instance.
The court held that the accused was not having any intention to outrage the modesty of women nor he has any knowledge that his act is likely to do the same. He just made a natural preparatory act to make himself comfortable by removing his trousers.
Therefore, he was acquitted from the charge under Section 354 of Indian Penal Code.