Whether seeing or staring at a woman is a punishable offence? According to the new law, does the stare at a woman come under criminal activity? To understand the answer to this question I would like to put your attention to one dire event i.e., Nirbhaya Case 2012. In 2012 when the Nirbhaya case was happened in Delhi, on the recommendation of Justice A.S. Verma, Anti Rape Law was brought. You must be aware that Anti Rape Law came into force in February, and it was brought as the presidential ordinance. The president of the country had issued an ordinance. After which there weres so many amendments made in CRPC, IPC. And one most Important Section was added to the IPC. i.e., 354c. In Section 354c. In 354c any such act was declared an offence.
So, the question is, “whether staring at a woman is an Offence?”
The answer is so funny. Because The person is a Woman or Men? We can understand it by seeing that person. Isn’t it right? Means Meaning here we will understand whether we are female or male, it will be known only after seeing us. How can anyone tell whether the person in front is a woman or a man without seeing?
Mahatma Gandhiji had said that “don’t look bad”, but here the problem lies in that after seeing me, I know what is bad and what is good? Like Gandhiji has also said that “don’t listen bad, but after listening we come to know that this thing was bad. So the same applies here that only after seeing a person will you know whether that person is a woman or a man and if you are saying in the law that watching is a crime, then it is a wrong thing, and understand this is beyond comprehension.
But in some paper cutting, I have seen that staring at a woman has been said to be a legal offense, and many people the question comes to mind that if seeing someone is a crime then how to understand this thing now? And in that paper I read that now according to the new law, seeing or staring at a woman is a legal offense. And it was also written that according to the law, staring or looking at a woman for 10 seconds is an offense and there will be punished for that. So I thought, that this thing is also illogical.
One thing you should understand here is that the law does not force anything that is not possible to do. According to my opinion, it is really wrong to see a woman or to a man, or to a third gender. Yes, it is really wrong. The first thing is, why do you have to see or stare at someone?
So one question is also here that, will you really be punished for seeing someone/woman for 10 seconds, and, “who will count that 10 seconds?” So will the judge count when the lawyer accounts or the boy who is staring at those girls. Will he count or any CCTV camera will count. This is an obviously illogical matter.
Here, to understand this logic of 10 seconds let us read Section 354c in Detail.
Section 354c of IPC:-
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.
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 in first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term 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.
There were a lot of cases coming before the formation of Isla. In which the complaint was being made that someone had installed a camera in the changing room or in the mall. Or CCTV installed in a hotel room or bathroom. Here, at such a place, a woman does a private act, and seeing such a scene is considered an offense under this act. And it is called Voyeurism.