Select a page

IPC 354C | Voyeurism | Punishment for Voyeurism

IPC 354C  VOYEURISM

354C  Voyeurism. – Any man who watches, or captures the image of, a woman engaging in a private act in circumstances where she would usually have the expectation of not being observed either by the perpetrator or by any other person at the behest of the perpetrator or  disseminates such image shall be punished on first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than one year, but which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to fine, and be punished on a second or subsequent conviction, 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 liabkle to fine.

Explanation 1. – For the purpose of this section, “ private act” includes an act of watching carried out in a place which, in the circumstances, would reasonably be expected to provide privacy, and where the victim’s genitals, posterior or breasts are exposed or covered only in underwear; or the victim is using a lavatory; or the victim is doing a sexual act that is not of a kind ordinarily done in public.

Explanation 2. – Where the victim consents to the capture of the images or any act, but not to their dissemination to third persons and where such image or act is disseminated, such dissemination shall be considered an offence under this section.]

Voyeurism Defined: Voyeurism is derived from the French word voyeur which literally means “one who looks”. However, this term is usually conjoined to any male who observes a woman secretly. This section’s explanation takes the definition further to an instance where though the capturing of image can be with consent but it’s dissemination is not with consent.

So in first explanation Voyeurism in practiced when the woman is doing some activity in private like a taking a bath, feeding a baby, engaged in sexual act, urinating, changing clothes etc. A man secretly watches that act or captures images of that. Trial rooms and public restrooms are often said to have secret cameras installed by accused. Peeping tom is often how such people are referred.

And in the second explanation may involve intimacy between the accused and the woman, in which he captures photographs or videos of the woman during the intimate act and subsequently disseminates it to third party or on web or any other medium against the will or consent of that woman. Revenge Porn is one of such instance which is covered under this section.

Punishment: Any person found guilty of this offence shall be punished on first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than one year, but whch may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to fine, and be punished on a second or subsequent conviction, 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. Please note that the second of subsequent conviction is not second accusation of offence. Only after the accused has been punished once for the act, the second or subsequent offence commences thereafter.

This offence is bailable and is triable by any magistrate of first class.

Note: If a man captures any image or video and has not disseminated it, but is blackmailing or threatening the woman of dissemination, it is not a crime under this section. It is a separate crime of extortion which is applicable.

 

If you have any query related to gender biased laws join SahodarWhatsapp Groups by sending Whatsapp message “Subscribe” to Sahodar Trust No. 9811850498

4 Comments

  1. Rahul October 5, 2018 Reply

    Sir in last para you have mentioned that taking photos or videos is not a crime. Can wife alleges on his husband that he took photos and videos forcefully but in real all were with consent.

    • Author
      Shonee Kapoor October 15, 2018 Reply

      False complaints can have 1000 grounds.

  2. Lucky October 4, 2018 Reply

    Hi Sir, Can a wife file any case on husband that he was blackmailing her and took her obscene videos and photos. But those photos and videos are not uploaded anywhere and not shared anywhere. Wife do have such videos with her.
    Please not my first bail is rejected on this point.

    • Author
      Shonee Kapoor October 5, 2018 Reply

      Unless recovery of such items is done, it is plain allegation and bail should not have been dismissed. Move higher court for bail

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.