ASSAULT OR CRIMINAL FORCE TO WOMAN WITH INTENT TO DISROBE
354B. Assault or use of criminal force to woman with intent to disrobe. – Any man who assaults or uses force to any woman or abets such act with the intention of disrobing or compelling her to be naked shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than three years but which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine.
Section Defined: The section says, any man who
- Assaults or Uses force to any woman or Abets such act
- With the intention of disrobing or
- Compelling her to be naked
Shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than three years but which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine.
The legislature in its wisdom thinks that there are instances where a woman is forced to strip or is forcibly stripped to put her in an embarrassing and mortifying position. Such incidents may not include any direct physical touch to bring it in the ambit of S. 354 IPC. Thus a separate crime has been provisioned in the aftermath of Nirbhaya GangRape Case.
This crime of Sexual harassment is kept as Cognizable, which means that any Police Officer who has been approached with a complaint of Sexual Harassment has to register the crime. It is considered a heinous crime and it is not bailable that means only a magistrate can grant bail in such a crime.
In one of the cases Delhi Sessions Court held that the bare reading of Section 354B IPC reflects that only if the accused has the intention to disrobe the victim or compel her to e naked then only Section 354B IPC is attracted. In case no intention can be imputed to the accused, the offence will not come within the purview of Section 354B IPC. If the clothes of the victim got torn during the scuffle with the accused this section will not come into play as there was no intention to disrobe the victim.
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