Question: Describe the offences of voyeurism and stalking. [M.P.C.J. 2013, 2012] Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Describe the offences of voyeurism and stalking.] Answer In 2013, the Criminal Law Amendment Act was introduced by the Justice Verma Committee and the amendments were made to the Indian Penal Code, introducing voyeurism and stalking… Read More »

Question: Describe the offences of voyeurism and stalking. [M.P.C.J. 2013, 2012] Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Describe the offences of voyeurism and stalking.] Answer In 2013, the Criminal Law Amendment Act was introduced by the Justice Verma Committee and the amendments were made to the Indian Penal Code, introducing voyeurism and stalking as an offence punishable under the IPC. Section 354C and 354D of IPC makes the offence of voyeurism and stalking...

Question: Describe the offences of voyeurism and stalking. [M.P.C.J. 2013, 2012]

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Describe the offences of voyeurism and stalking.]

Answer

In 2013, the Criminal Law Amendment Act was introduced by the Justice Verma Committee and the amendments were made to the Indian Penal Code, introducing voyeurism and stalking as an offence punishable under the IPC. Section 354C and 354D of IPC makes the offence of voyeurism and stalking punishable respectively.

Stalking is an act of uninvited repeated observation or surveillance by an individual or group of people toward any person. The behaviour of stalking includes repeatedly following a person or watching them, attempting to secure personal interaction or attention, spying and monitoring. This has the effect of threatening the victim’s security and privacy.

As per, Section 354D a man is said to have committed the offence of stalking when he follows a woman and contacts or attempts to contact her to foster personal interaction repeatedly in spite of the fact that she clearly indicated her displeasure or monitors her use of the internet or e-mail or any other form of electronic communication.

However, a man cannot be guilty of the offence of stalking when he pursues a woman:

  1. to, as a part his responsibility imposed on him by the State, prevent and detect a crime;
  2. to comply with any law or condition or requirement imposed by a person under any law; or
  3. in the particular circumstances that make his conduct reasonable and justified.

He, on a first conviction, will be punished by simple or grievous imprisonment for a term of up to three years, and a fine. On the second or subsequent conviction, he will be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term of up to five years, and a fine.

Voyeurism, on the other hand, is an act of watching any other person, in such a condition when such person is engaged in a private act and expects not to be observed by anybody.

It includes watching any person in situations of changing clothes in a trial room or any private room, etc., whether in a public or private place, wherever, there is a reasonable expectation of not being watched.

Section 354C makes the offence of Voyeurism punishable as— 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 liable 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.


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