Laws against sexual harassment of Women


  1. Section 354

    • Section 354A says that if a man commits any of the following forms of sexual harassment then he shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both:

      1. physical contact, advances involving unwelcome and explicit sexual overtures,
      2. demand or request for sexual favours
      3. Forcibly showing pornography

      Even if a man makes a remark with sexual intonation, he is punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.

    • Section 354B says that if a man tries to disrobe a woman in public, or even if someone helps in such a crime then the guilty person is punishable with imprisonment for no less than three years but which may extend to seven years. There can also be a fine charged.
    • Section 354C says that secretly observing or capturing an image/video of a woman going about her private matters like undressing, changing clothes etc. is also a crime. For a first time, the guilty person is punishable by imprisonment for at least 1 year and maybe a fine. This crime is compoundable – for repeated offences the person is punishable for at least 3 years.

      Under this section it is also mentioned that if a woman has consented to the capturing of an image/video of any private act, but does not consent to the distribution of the same to others, then the person will be given the same punishment as above. The punishment is also the same for a person who has morphed a woman’s identifiable parts onto another person to wrongfully imply that the woman was in a compromising situation.

    • Section 354D says that stalking, both physically and through the cyberspace, is a crime. for the first instance, the person may be imprisoned upto 3 years; for repeated instances the imprisonment could be upto 5 years, along with a fine.

  2. Section 509: This section is also intended to mete out punishment against sexual harassment towards a woman. The imprisonment term is upto 3 years, and a fine may also be imposed.
  3. At the moment, the Indian Penal code does not have any specific laws against sexual harassment or assault on men and the third gender. This issue is being considered in serious debates across the country.

Please read about the laws against sexual harassment in workplaces that are established in India to protect women. You can also find out about the definition of sexual harassment by Indian law.

Here are some important things to keep in mind about reporting a case of sexual harassment, about medical aid for a victim, etc.