There are various laws stated in the Indian Penal Code that takes care of the dignity of women. Quite a few sections of the Indian Penal Code or IPC deal with acts or behaviors that cause hurt to the dignity of women. Two such sections of the IPC are sections 294 and 509.
What is section 294 of the IPC?
Section 294 of the Indian Penal Code makes punishment mandatory for obscene acts committed in public or obscene words spoken in public.
To be precise Section 294 states whoever to the annoyance of others:
294(a): Does any obscene act in a public place or
294(b): Sings, recites or utters any obscene song, ballad or words in a public place or even close to a public place
Shall be punished with imprisonment of up to three months or fine may be levied or both might be imposed on the accused based on the severity of the conduct. It needs to be noted here that Section 294 is not gendered specific and both the victim and the offender can either be a male or a female.
What is section 509 of the IPC?
Section 509 of the IPC intends to penalize a person who expresses words, gestures, acts in order to hurt the modesty of the woman. The section goes on saying that any person who with an intention of hurting the modesty of woman utters any word, makes a sound or gesture, or exhibits an object so that the woman can either hear the sound or shall see the object or a person who intrudes upon the privacy of a woman shall be punished for up to one year or a fine can be imposed upon and sometimes depending on the severity of the offense the offender is punished as well as needs to pay the fine.
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The offense of S-509 is cognizable and bailable in nature. However, one should keep in mind that the section emphasizes on the fact that the offender should have the intention of hurting the modesty of the woman. Section 509 IPC can be tried by any magistrate.