The offence under Section 354 is not a sexual offence because it falls within the chapter “Criminal Force and Assault,” Metropolitan Magistrate MV Chavhan stated.
As a result, the Court determined that either a male or a woman can conduct the crime because any woman can physically harm another woman or use force against them with the intent to offend their modesty.
“It is thus clear that under Section 354 IPC, a man as well as a woman can be held guilty of the offence of assaulting or using criminal force to any woman with the intention or knowledge that the woman’s modesty will be outraged and be punished for the offence. Section 354 IPC, therefore, operate equally upon all persons whether males or females and it cannot be maintained that women are exempted from any punishment under this section,” the Court stated.
It, therefore, convicted a woman under the provision and sentenced her to imprisonment for one year.