What is Section 354C IPC Bare Act?
Section 354C IPC Bare Act is the exact text of the Section 354C of the Indian Penal Code (IPC 354C), passed by the Indian Legislature or Parliament. Thus, it is a replica of the original Section 354C of the Indian Penal Code available to the people of India by the Indian legislature or Parliament.
Section 354C IPC Bare Act (As Per the Indian Legislature or Parliament)
354C. Voyeurism.— 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.
What is Section 354C IPC?
Section 354C of the Indian Penal Code (IPC 354C) deals with the offense of voyeurism. Voyeurism refers to the act of watching, capturing, or recording the private acts of a person without their consent, for sexual gratification or to invade their privacy. It involves intentionally intruding upon the privacy of another person, whether through visual or electronic means.
According to Section 354C IPC, any person who watches or captures the image of a person engaging in a private act without their consent, or distributes, publishes, or transmits such images, is liable to be punished. The section also covers instances where a person knowingly records or disseminates the private parts of another person without their consent.
Under Section 354C IPC (IPC 354C), voyeurism is considered a criminal offense, and those found guilty can face punishment. Voyeurism is a serious offense that violates an individual’s privacy and dignity and can have severe psychological and emotional consequences for the victim.
Section 354C IPC aims to deter and punish such acts, providing legal protection to individuals against invasion of their privacy through voyeuristic activities. It is important to report instances of voyeurism to the authorities and create awareness about the legal provisions under Section 354C IPC to prevent and address such offenses effectively.
Essential Elements of Section 354(C) IPC
Section 354C of the Indian Penal Code (IPC 354C) addresses the offense of voyeurism. To establish the crime of voyeurism under Section 354C IPC, the following essential elements must be present:
Watching or capturing: The accused must watch or capture the image of a person engaged in a private act. This act can involve observing the person directly or using electronic devices such as cameras, smartphones, or other recording devices.
Without consent: The act of watching or capturing the image must be done without the consent of the person involved. Consent refers to the voluntary and informed agreement of the individual to be observed or recorded.
Private act: The person being watched or recorded must be engaged in a private act. Private acts refer to actions that are not meant to be observed by others, such as undressing, sexual activities, or activities conducted in a private setting where individuals have a reasonable expectation of privacy.
Sexual gratification or invasion of privacy: The act of voyeurism must be committed with the intention of obtaining sexual gratification or invading the privacy of the person being observed. The motive behind the act is crucial to establish the offense.
Disseminates: The section also covers instances where a person knowingly records or disseminates the private parts of another person without their consent.
It is important to note that each element must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to establish the offense of voyeurism under Section 354C IPC. The law aims to protect the privacy and dignity of individuals and deter such invasive acts.
Examples of Section 354C IPC
Here are a few examples that illustrate instances of voyeurism falling under Section 354C of the Indian Penal Code (IPC 354C):
Hidden camera in changing room: A person installs a hidden camera inside a changing room of a retail store, intending to capture the private moments of unsuspecting individuals while they are changing clothes. The recorded footage is then used for personal pleasure or shared without consent.
Unauthorized video recording: A person secretly records videos of individuals in compromising situations, such as in public restrooms or private bedrooms, without their knowledge or consent. These videos are then distributed or posted online without the subjects’ permission.
Peeping into someone’s window: A person frequently peeps into the windows of another person’s residence, specifically targeting moments when the individual is undressing or engaged in intimate activities. The intention is to obtain sexual gratification by invading their privacy.
Using a hidden camera in a hotel room: A hotel employee covertly installs a hidden camera inside a guest’s room with the intention of capturing their private moments. The recorded footage is then used for personal enjoyment or potentially sold or shared without the guest’s consent.
These examples highlight different scenarios where individuals engage in voyeuristic behavior by unlawfully observing or capturing the private activities of others without their consent.
Such acts of voyeurism are a violation of privacy and can result in legal consequences under Section 354C IPC. It is important to recognize and report such incidents to ensure the safety and privacy of individuals.
Section 354C IPC Punishment?
The punishment for the offense of voyeurism under Section 354C of the Indian Penal Code (IPC 354C) is as follows:
First conviction: If a person is found guilty of voyeurism for the first time, the punishment is imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than one year, but which may extend to three years, along with a fine.
Subsequent convictions: If a person is convicted of voyeurism for the second or subsequent time, the punishment is imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three years, but which may extend to seven years, along with a fine.
It is important to note that the exact punishment may vary based on the discretion of the court and the specific circumstances of the case. The court may consider factors such as the gravity of the offense, the intent of the offender, the impact on the victim’s privacy in determining the punishment.
Voyeurism is considered a serious offense as it infringes upon an individual’s right to privacy and causes emotional distress. The prescribed punishment aims to deter such acts and ensure the protection of privacy rights.
Is IPC 354C Bailable or Not?
For the offense of voyeurism under Section 354C of the Indian Penal Code (IPC 354C), the bail provisions vary depending on the circumstances:
First Conviction: In the case of the first conviction for voyeurism, the offense is considered bailable. This means that the accused can be granted bail as a matter of right or as per the discretion of the court. However, the court may impose certain conditions while granting bail to ensure the accused’s appearance during trial and prevent any interference with the investigation.
Subsequent Convictions: In cases of subsequent convictions for voyeurism, the offense is considered non-bailable. This means that bail cannot be granted as a matter of right, and the accused would need to approach the court to seek bail. The court will carefully consider the circumstances, nature of the offense, and other relevant factors before deciding on bail. The accused must provide substantial grounds to justify their release on bail.
Section 354C IPC Compoundable or Not?
Section 354C of the Indian Penal Code (IPC 354C), which deals with the offense of voyeurism, is considered a non-compoundable offense.
This means that once a complaint is filed and the legal process is initiated for the offense of voyeurism, the victim or the aggrieved person cannot simply withdraw the case or enter into a compromise with the accused. The prosecution will continue, and the case will be decided by the court based on the evidence and legal proceedings.
The rationale behind making certain offenses non-compoundable, including voyeurism, is to ensure that crimes that violate privacy and dignity are appropriately prosecuted and deterred, regardless of any potential settlements or compromises between the parties involved.
Section 354C IPC Cognizable or Not?
Section 354C of the Indian Penal Code (IPC 354C), which related to voyeurism, is a cognizable offense.
A cognizable offense is one in which the police have the authority to make an arrest without a warrant and initiate an investigation based on a complaint or information received. In the case of Section 354C IPC, if a person is accused of committing voyeurism, the police can arrest the accused without a warrant if there is sufficient evidence or reasonable grounds to believe that the offense has been committed.
Once the cognizable offense of voyeurism is reported to the police, they are empowered to register an FIR (First Information Report) and initiate an investigation. The police will gather evidence, record statements, and undertake necessary steps to gather information and build a case against the accused.
Section 354C IPC Judgments / Rulings
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA :
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