Twisting a woman’s hand during fight not outraging her modesty, says Bombay HC
The HC bench said the intention of the accused is an essential ingredient of the offencemumbai Updated: Mar 22, 2017 23:56 IST
During a fight, if one twists a woman’s hand or touches an end of her saree it does not amount to outraging her modesty, the Bombay high court held while striking down a lower court order convicting two Lonavla residents for outraging modesty of the daughter of their landlord.
The HC bench said the intention of the accused is an essential ingredient of the offence punishable under section 354 of the Indian Penal Code. It added that unless it is proved that the ‘touching’ was with an intention to outrage modesty of the woman, a person cannot be convicted for the offence.
“Culpable intention is an essential ingredient of the offence punishable under section 354 of the Indian Penal Code,” said Justice AM Badar while reversing conviction of Rajesh Kankaria and his father Swarupchand. “Unless the intention is proved, merely twisting the hand of a woman or catching hold of a corner of her saree during a quarrel cannot be called a deliberate act of outraging modesty of a female within section 354 of the IPC,” the judge added.
The incident took place on March 22, 2006, when the father-son duo and the family members of their landlord, including the landlord’s married daughter, entered a scuffle. The duo was booked for outraging modesty of the landlord’s daughter, as one of them had held and twisted her hand and the other had tried to pull her by holding a corner of her saree.
On January 29, 2011, the local magistrate court convicted both of them for the offence and sentenced them to rigorous imprisonment of two months and also imposed fine of Rs 10,000 on each of them. They then approached the high court after the Pune sessions court rejected their appeal in February 2017.
Justice Badar struck down both the lower court orders holding that their conviction and resultant sentence was “totally contrary to law”. The judge said if quarrel suddenly takes place, for which both the parties are more or less to be blamed, then by no stretch of imagination it can be said that in the resultant scuffle the accused persons either intended or knew that their acts were likely to outrage modesty of the woman with whom they end up fighting.
First Published: Mar 22, 2017 23:56 IST