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HomeLaw NotesIndian Penal Code - IPCForce, Criminal Force, Assault and Offences Relating to Women - Everything...

Force, Criminal Force, Assault and Offences Relating to Women – Everything you need to know


This article give you detailed information about Force, Criminal Force, Assault and Offences Relating to Women. We have written this article with due care and proper research of this topic. In this article we will give you detailed information about Force, Criminal Force, Assault and Offences Relating to Women with their section and related case laws.

Section – 349 to 358 of Indian Penal Code – 1860 (IPC)deals with criminal force and assault. Section – 349, 350 and 351 defines ‘Force’ ‘Criminal Force’ and ‘Assault’ respectively. After Nirbhaya Case this sub- chapter has severally amended by Act No-13 of 2013, and amended section- 354 ( Quantum of Punishment and inserted four new Sections – 354A, 354B, 354C, 354D.

Brief analysis of sub- chapter are as under,

Section 349 – Force

Section 350 – Criminal Force

Section 351 – Assault

Section 352 – Punishment for assault or criminal force other than grave provocation

Section 353 – Assault or Criminal Force to Deter Public Servant from discharge his duty

Section 354 – Outraging Modesty Of Women

Section 354 A –

Section 354 A – Sexual harassment and punishment for sexual harassment

Section 354 B – Using assault for women with Intent to Disrobe

Section 354 C – Voyeurism

Section 354 D – Stalking

Section 355 – Assault or criminal force with intent to Dishonour a Person without grave provocation

Section 356 – Using assault or criminal force with intent to commit theft.

Section 357 – Using Assault or criminal force for wrongfully confinement person.

Section 358 – Using assault or criminal force on grave provocation



Force means coercion or compulsion , violence it is used to achieve something or make someone against his will in popular sense, force means unlawful violence.

Force” becomes “Criminal Force“, When it is used without consent in order to commit an offence.

Force means coercion or compulsion. A person is said to use the force to another, if he causing-


Change of motion; or

Cessation of motion; or

If he causes to any substance, such motion change of motion or cessation of the motion , As bring that substance into contact with any part of that others body a ; or with anything which that others is wearing or carring, or with anything so situated that , such contact after that others sense of feelings.

However, the above motions, change of motion or cessation of motion, can be done in one of following three ways –

  1. By his bodily powers
  2. By his disposing any substance
  3. By induing any animal to move to change or to cease to move.
  4. The law commission of India ha recommended, To change the definition of force, but it has not been done act.

Essential Ingredient of Force

Section 349 , of the code provides that person is said to use force to another if he causes –

  • Motion
  • Change of Motion
  • Cessation of Motion

To that others, or if he causes to any substance, into contact –

a. With any part of that others body; or

b. With anything which that other is the other

c. With anything that such contact that others sense of feeling.

Provided the person, causes that motion change of motion or cessation of motion in any of the following three ways

  • By his bodily powers
  • By displacing any substance,
  • By inducing any animal.

Section 349 defines force but, it doesn’t create itself substantive offence. The term force, means the exercise of once’s energy upon another human being it may be exercised directly or indirectly.

Example of person’s own bodily powers-

If A pushes B within his hand, it is use a force. If A snatches chain of B, which B is wearing it used of force. Example of using substantive is that, a person throwing towards someone.

Maiku Vs State


If any motion, change of motion or cession of motion is caused to any property without affecting a human being, there is no use of force, in terms of section 349.

Criminal Force

Criminal Force

Section 349 of Indian Penal Code defines the term ‘Force’ whereas section 350 defines Criminal Force. Force or mere use of force doesn’t amount to an offence. When force applied to a person is a criminal force, it will certainly amount to an offence. Criminal force as known as battery under civil law or in English law.

However, criminal force in certain circumstances, can be so slight or pitty. Therefore it may not amount to an offence.

Section 350 Indian Penal Code provides, Whoever intentionally uses force to any person, without that person’s consent, in order to the committing of any offence or intending by the use of such force to cause or knowing it to be likely that by the use of such force, he will cause injury, fears or annoyance to the person, to whom the force is used, is said to use criminal force to that others.

Essential Ingredient of Criminal Force

To constitute an offence of Criminal Force, the following ingredient are necessary –

  • Intentional use of criminal force to any person,
  • Such force, should have been used, without the consent of victim.
  • The force, must have been used to commit an offence or with intention to case fear, injury or annoyance to some other person.

Jadunandan Singh vs King Emperor

Where a victim is assaulted, and his thumb impression taken forcefully on blank sheet of paper, the offence will fall under Section 350 . The Punishment for criminal force broadly classified on the involvement of grave and sudden provocation by the other party-

Section 352 other than grave and sudden provocation

Section 358 With Grave and sudden Provocation



Assault is an attempted battery. Being an attempt, it is an inchoate wrong. Assault create a reasonable apprehension, it is a civil as well as a criminal wrong under section 351has been defined it is punishable under section 352 of Indian Penal Code.

Section 352-358 apply to aggravated from of assault or criminal force and prescribe serve punishment. Assault is an vert act. Intending to cause apprehension, to another person as to use of criminal force. Mere words don’t amount to assault but if there are accompanied by gesture as preparation it may amount t assault.

Essentials of Assault -Section 351

  1. The accused must have made any gesture or preparation. Such gesture, or preparation must have been made with an intention or knowledge of likelihood of apprehension to person present.
  2. The apprehension must be that the accused is about to use criminal force too person feeling apprehension.

Mere word do not amount to an assault such words, as may give meaning to gesture or preparation, may amount to an assault

Punishment for Assault

  • Imprisonment of either description up to 3 months or fine up to 500 Rs. or both. ( When grave provocation was not offered or given ) – Sectin 352
  • Simple imprisonment Up to 1 months, or fine upto 200 Rs. or both. (If grave provocation was given) – Section 358

Nazeruddin vs King Emperor


An offence of assault, can be committed only against a person, and not against the public.

Scope of Assault Section -351

The apprehension of use of criminal force must be making from the gesture or preparation, if that apprehension don’t arise but from that person , somebody else It don’t amount to assault.

Outraging Modesty of the women

 Outraging Modesty of the women

Section 354 deals with, assault or use of criminal force, intending to outrage modesty of a women. Section 354 has been substituted by the act no 2013 in respect f quantum of punishment. Now the punishment, under this section is not less then one year which may extend to 5 years and with fine earlier, the punishment was 2 years or with fine or with both.

  • The offenses of section 354 is cognizable and non bailable or non compoundable and it is triable by first class magistrate.
  • Section 354 provides that ” whoever assault and use criminal force to any women, intending to outrage or knowing it to be, likely that he will thereby outrage her modesty”

Shall be publishable with the imprisonment either description of term shall not less then 1 year but which may extend to 5 years and shall be liable to fine.

Essential Ingredients

The essential Ingredients of offenses offences under section 354 are –

  • That the assault mus be on women
  • that the accused must have used criminal force on her
  • That the criminal force must have been used on women intending thereby to outrage her modesty.

Modesty of Women

  • Oxford dictionary defines the word modesty –

“womanly, Propriety of behaviour”

  • “Modesty in section- 354 is an attribute, associated with female human being as a class. it is virtue which attaches to female owning to her sex ” RAM KRIPAL vs STATE OF MP [2007]SC
  • The essence of modesty of women is her sex. TARKESHWAR SAHU vs STATE OF BIHAR [2006]



Voyeurism, in a broader perspective implies the act of gaining sexual pleasure from watching other people while they engage in sexual activities or are naked. “Voyeurism is a paraphilia that involves sexual pleasure from viewing unsuspecting individuals undressing, already nude, or involved in sexual activity”. It can also be defined as the habit of spying on people doing actions that are generally regarded as private, such as engaging in sexual activity or undressing. In voyeurism, the person being observed may have no connection with the voyeur in any way. This kind of obsessive behavior can also be called stalking.

Voyeurism under the Indian Penal Code, 1860, section-354C describes the act as, “Viewing and/or capturing the image of a girl or woman going about her private acts, where she thinks that no one is watching her is a crime. This includes a woman, using a toilet, or who is undressed or in her underwear, or engaged in a sexual act.”

Private act under this provision describes an act of watching carried out in a place, where in the circumstances would reasonably be expected to provide privacy. Any other person at the behest of the perpetrator or distributing such image shall be punished on first conviction with the imprisonment of either description for a term not less than one year, but which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable for fines and punishable on a second or subsequent conviction with the imprisonment of any description for a term not to be imposed.


IPC Section 354D. Stalking

IPC Section 354D. Stalking –

(1) Any man who-

(i) follows a woman and contacts, or attempts to contact such woman to foster personal interaction repeatedly despite a clear indication of disinterest by such woman; or

(ii) monitors the use by a woman of the internet, email or any other form of electronic communication, commits the offence of stalking:

Provided that such conduct shall not amount to stalking if the man who pursued it proves that-

(i) it was pursued for the purpose of preventing or detecting crime and the man accused of stalking had been entrusted with the responsibility of prevention and detection of crime by the State; or

(ii) it was pursued under any law or to comply with any condition or requirement imposed by any person under any law; or

(iii) in the particular circumstances such conduct was reasonable and justified.

(2) Whoever commits the offence of stalking shall be punished on first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term 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 may extend to five years, and shall also be liable to fine.]

BY – Riya Pandey







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