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TIPS & EXPERT ADVICE ON ESSAYS, PAPERS & COLLEGE APPLICATIONS

Explanation:

Mere words do not amount to an assault. But the words which a person uses may give to his gestures or preparations such a meaning as may make those gestures or preparations amount to an assault.

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Illustrations:

(a) A shakes his fist at Z, intending or knowing it to be likely that he may thereby cause Z to believe that A is about to strike Z. A has committed an assault.

(b) A begins to unloose the muzzle of a ferocious dog, intending or knowing it to be likely that he may thereby cause Z to believe that he is about to cause the dog to attack Z. A has committed an assault upon Z.

(c) A takes up a stick, saying to Z, “I will give you a beating”. Here, though the words used by A could in no case amount to an assault, and though the mere gesture, unaccompanied by any other circumstances, might not amount to an assault, the gesture explained by the words may amount to an assault.

Important Points:

A. Sec. 352 prescribes punishment for assault or criminal force otherwise than on grave provocation. It lays down that whoever assaults or uses criminal force to any person otherwise than on grave and sudden provocation given by that person shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three months, or with fine which may extend to Rs. 500/- or with both. The offence under this Section is non-cognizable, bailable, compoundable, and triable by any Magistrate.

B. Out-Raging the Modesty of a Woman

Section 354 of IPC provides the protection against the offence of “Out-raging the modesty of a woman”. While disposing Aman Kumar vs. State of Maharashtra (AIR 2004 SC 1497), the Supreme Court explains that the act of pulling a woman, removing her dress coupled with a request for sexual intercourse, is such as would be an outrage to the modest of a woman, and knowledge that the modesty is likely to be outraged, is sufficient to constitute the offence without any deliberate intention having such outrage alone for its object. Rape includes modesty of the woman but modesty does not include rape.

In Rupan Deol Bajaj vs. K.P.S. Gill (1995) 6 SCC 194) case, the Supreme Court held that where the accused, a superior rank police officer slapped the back of the complainant, an I.A.S. Officer, in a party in a public place, having regard to sequence of events his act prima facie amounted to out-raging the modesty of the lady I.A.S. Officer.

Section 509 IPC also imposes penalty on the accused, who intends to insult the modesty of a woman with his word, gesture or act. The difference between Section 354 and Section 509 is that in the former the act is coupled, in the latter only criminal intimidation coupled with word, gesture or act. Generally, the police couple both these Sections, in the offences of out-raging the modesty of the woman.

Sec. 354. Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty:

Whoever assaults or uses criminal force to any woman, intending to outrage or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby outrage her modesty, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

C. Out-raging the modesty of a woman in A.P.

For the purpose of application of this Section, the A.P. State Legislature had enacted a new Section vide Act No. 6 of 1991, Sec., the new Section applicable for A. P. State is as follows:

“Sec. 354. Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty: Whoever assaults or uses criminal force to any woman, intending to outrage or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby outrage her modesty, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than five years but which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine:

Provided that the Court may, for adequate and special reasons to be mentioned in the judgment, impose a sentence of imprisonment of either description for a term which may be less than five years, but which shall not be less than two years.”

Nature of offence:

Cognizable, bailable, compoundable with permission of the Court before which any prosecution of such offence is pending, and triable by any Magistrate.

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