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Is stalking punishable under law?

Article 21 of Constitution of India provides right to life with personal liberty including right to privacy. But what if someone is following you? Sometimes you know and it really annoys you or sometimes you are not ever aware of such an act. For instance – how could you know that someone is monitoring you on social media and going through the profile, or the places you visit on a regular basis.

In many acid attempt cases or offences against women or any offences, the offender monitors the act of the victim and then commits the crime. For instance – In acid attack cases, an offender follows a woman and attempts to contact her even after her denial, after getting nothing out of his act, he commits crime.


Section 354 D of Indian Penal Code 


Section 354 D of Indian Penal Code talks about staking and when any act amounts to stalking. This section was added by Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013. This section states when the act amounts to stalking –

  • if a man follows & contacts a woman or attempts to contact her,
  • with an intention to build a personal relationship with her, even after her clear denial & disinterest in him
  • Monitor the act of a woman on social media, her emails, or any electronic communications.




This Section is subject to certain exceptions which are as follows –

  • If a man performs any of the aforementioned acts with the purpose of preventing or detecting crime & he is given the responsibility by the competent authority to prevent or detect the crime.
  • The act was performed in pursuance of any law or imposed by the authority under any law
  • The conduct was just and reasonable




If any person commits offence under section 354 D of Indian Penal Code then he shall be punished –

First conviction – he shall be punished for a term which may extend to three years along with fine

Second or regular offender – he shall be punished for a term which may extend to 5 years along with fine.


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