Sexual Harassment: The Law In India

What is the law on sexual harassment in India?

Offences under the Indian Penal Code and relevant punishments

Section 354A

Sexual harassment is: unwelcome physical contact and advances, including unwanted and explicit sexual overtures, a demand or request for sexual favours, showing someone sexual images (pornography) without their consent, and making unwelcome sexual remarks.

Punishment: Up to three years in prison, and a fine.

Section 354B

Forcing a woman to undress.

Punishment: From three to seven years in prison, and a fine.

Section 354C

Watching or capturing images of a woman without her consent (voyeurism).

Punishment: First conviction – one to three years in prison and a fine. More than one conviction – three to seven years in prison and a fine.

Section 354D

Following a woman and contacting her or trying to contact her despite her saying she does not want contact. Monitoring a woman using the internet or any other form of electronic communication (stalking).

Punishment: First conviction – up to three years in prison and a fine. More than one conviction – up to five years in prison and a fine.

13 Section 509

Insulting the modesty of a woman by saying any word or sound or making any gesture which intrudes on her privacy.

Punishment: Up to three years in prison and a fine.

Offences under The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act

5 Section 1

Sexual harassment of a child; showing any object/body part. Making a child exhibit her body or threatening to use a child to create sexual images (pornography).

Punishment: Up to three years in prison and a fine.

References

  1. Visit http://www.lawyerscollective.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Dos-and-Donts.pdf for more information and guidance about sexual harassment and the criminal justice system.