Barely touching hand , not outraging the modesty: Bombay HC

The Bombay High Court has held that the bare act of touching hands of a fellow colleague is not sufficient to constitute the offence of outraging modesty of a woman.

The case was against a Head Master of a School, who was accused by an Assistant Teacher working at the same school. The incident involved touching of hand in the class and in the office. The Complainant then filed Police Complaint. The Head Master however, filed an Application seeking quashing of the proceedings.

It was argued by the prosecution that the Head Master has committed offence of outraging the modesty of complainant. He caught hold the hands of complainant and pressed it with ill-intention.

The Court after examining all the documents, so also the arguments advanced, elaborated on the scope of Section #354 of Indian Penal Code, which deals with outraging the modesty. The Court while holding that this offence cannot be treated as trivial, explained that if any person uses criminal force upon any woman with intention or knowledge that the woman’s modesty will be outraged, he will be penalized.

The Court however, after scrutiny of the facts held that there was no use of criminal force or assault by the Headmaster to the Assistant Teacher at the time of alleged incident. The bare act of touching the hands of fellow woman-teacher by #Headmaster while uttering words that her bills would be made cleared and she should not make #complaint to Trustees of the School, would not itself sufficient to constitute the offence of outraging the modesty of #Complainant.
The Court did not find any no culpable intention on the part of Head Master quashed the FIR.

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