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INDIAN KANOON SECTION 509 IPC - Indian Penal Code - Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman

  • Description

    Whoever, intending to insult the modesty of any woman, utters any word, makes any sound or gesture, or exhibits any object, intending that such word or sound shall be heard, or that such gesture or object shall be seen, by such woman, or intrudes upon the privacy of such woman, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, and also with fine1.

    1 Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013


    Applicable Offences

    Uttering any word or making any gesture intended to insult the modesty of a woman, etc.
    Punishment - Simple imprisonment for 3 years + Fine
    This is a Bailable, Cognizable offence and triable by Any Magistrate

    This offence is compoundable by The woman insulted or whose privacy was intruded upon, with the permission of the Court .


    1.If an offence is cognizable, police has the authority to arrest the accused without a warrant and to start an investigation with or without the permission of a court. Otherwise police does not have the authority to arrest the accused without a warrant and an investigation cannot be initiated without a court order.

    2.If an offience is bailable, police has the authority to release the accused on bail on getting the defined surety amount along with a duly filled bail bond at the concerned police station. Otherwise arrested person has to apply for bail before a magistrate or court

    3. If an offence is compoundable, a compromise can be done between the accused and the victim, and a trial can be avoided. Otherwise, No compromise is allowed between the accused and the victim except under certain situations, where the High Court or the Supreme Court have the authority for quashing a matter.

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Advocate Arjun Vinod Bobde

  Supreme Court of India
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