20 July 2023 4:26 AM GMT
A Kerala Court recently held that merely holding a woman's hand and threatening to kill her would not attract the offence of assault or criminal force to outrage a woman's modesty under Section 354 IPC. The Judicial First Class Magistrate II Aluva Santhosh T.K., observed that in order to commit the offence under Section 354 IPC, it would have to be proved that the accused used criminal force...
A Kerala Court recently held that merely holding a woman's hand and threatening to kill her would not attract the offence of assault or criminal force to outrage a woman's modesty under Section 354 IPC.
The Judicial First Class Magistrate II Aluva Santhosh T.K., observed that in order to commit the offence under Section 354 IPC, it would have to be proved that the accused used criminal force or assaulted a woman either with an intention to outrage her modesty or with the knowledge that it was likely that he would thereby outrage her modesty.
"Mere assault or criminal force does not amount to an offence. The culpable intention to outrage the modesty of the victim is to be proved. Mere holding PW1’s hand and threatened her that he would kill her will not attract offence under Section 354 of IPC," the Court stated.
The prosecution case was that when the woman was waiting for prayer in a temple, the accused caught hold of her hand with an intent to outrage her modesty. It was added that the accused had also threatened to kill her. Accordingly, he was booked for offences under Section 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and 506(1) (Punishment for criminal intimidation) of the IPC.
The Court in this case was faced with the question as to whether the overt act of the accused would be sufficient to attract the ingredients for the offences under Sections 354 and 506(1) IPC.
As regards the offence under Section 354 IPC, the Court was of the view that the prosecution had failed to show that the accused had uttered any indecent words or had the intention to use the victim to satisfy his lust. It thereby held that the offence under Section 354 IPC would not arise in the present case.
In order to attract the offence under Section 506 IPC, the Court observed that the following ingredients ought to be satisfied, namely, that 1. there should be a threat of injury to a person, reputation or property; 2. to the person or reputation of any person in which the person is interested; 3. the threat must be with intend to cause alarm to that person or to cause that person to do an act which is not legally bound to do as the means to avoiding the accused of such threat; and 4. to cause that person to omit to do any act which that person is legally entitled to do as means of avoiding the causing of such threat.
The Court noted that a mere threat without causing any alarm would not amount to a criminal intimidation. On an appreciation of the evidence on record, the Court was of the view that the prosecution had succeeded to prove that the accused had an intention to cause alarm to the woman.
The Court thus acquitted the accused for the offence under Section 354 IPC, but convicted him for threatening to kill the woman under Section 506. He was thus sentenced to undergo simple imprisonment for a period of two years and to pay fine of Rs.5,000/.
The accused was represented by Advocate V.K.Siddik. The Additional Public Prosecutor II, Aluva appeared on behalf of the State.
Case Title: State v. Anoop
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