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Home Dictionary Definition modesty

Modesty, as ‘womanly propriety of behaviour; scrupulous chastity of thought, speech and conduct; reserve or sense of shame proceeding from instinctive aversion to impure or coarse suggestions, Oxford English Dictionary (1993 Edn.); Raju Pandurang Mahale v. State of Maharashtra, (2004) 4 SCC 371.
Modesty, as freedom from coarseness, indelicacy or indecency; a regard for propriety in dress, speech or conduct, (Webster’s Third New International Dictionary); Raju Pandurang Mahale v. State of Maharashtra, (2004) 4 SCC 371.
Modesty, can be described as the quality of being modest; and in relation to a woman , ‘womanly propriety to behaviour; scrupulous chastity of thought, speech and conduct.’ It is the reserve or sense of shame proceeding from instinctive aversion to impure or coarse suggestions, Aman Kumar v. State of Haryana, (2004) 4 SCC 379 (389). (Indian Penal Code, s. 354)
–the essential ingredients of the offence under
s. 354, IPC are as under:
(i) that the person assaulted must be a woman;
(ii) that the accused must have been used criminal force on her; and
(iii) that the criminal force must have been used on the woman intending thereby to outrage her modesty. Intention is not the sole criterion of the offence punishable under s. 354 IPC, and it can be committed by a person assaulting or using criminal force to any woman, if he knows that by such act the modesty of the woman is likely to be affected. Knowledge and intention are essentially things of the mind and cannot be demonstrated like physical objects. The existence of intention or knowledge has to be culled out from various circumstances in which and upon whom the alleged offence is alleged to have been committed, Vidyadharan v. State of Kerala, (2004) 1 SCC 215 (221). [Penal Code, 1860, s. 354]
According to Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (Third Edition) modesty is the quality of being modest and in relation to woman means ‘womanly propriety of behaviour; scrupulous chastity of thought, speech and conduct’. The word ‘modest’ in relation to woman is defined in the above dictionary as ‘decorous in manner and conduct; not forward or lewd; shamefast’. The ultimate test for ascertaining whether modesty has been outraged is, the action of the offender such as could be perceived one which is capable of shocking the sense of decency of a woman. Alleged act of a person slapping a lady on her posterior amounted to ‘outraging of her modesty’ for it was not only an affront to the normal sense of feminine decency but also an affront to the dignity of the lady ‘ ‘sexual overtones’ or not, notwithstanding, Reopan Deol Bajai v. Kanwar Pal Singh Gill, (1995) 6 SCC 194: AIR 1996 SC 309 (313). (Indian Penal Code, 1860, s. 354)
Modesty, is defined as the quality of being modest; and in relation to a woman, ‘womanly propriety of behaviour; scrupulous chastity of thought, speech and conduct, R.V. James Lloyd, (1836) 7 C&P 317: 173 ER 141.
Modesty, is to be interpreted as an attribute associated with female human beings as a class. It is a virtue which attaches to a female on account of her sex, Tarkeshwar Sahu v. State of Bihar, (2006) 8 SCC 560: (2006) 12 JT 559: (2006) 10 SCALE 45: (2006) 7 Supreme 741: (2006) 7 SLT 290: (2006) 10 SRJ 548: (2006) 3 SCC (Cri) 556: (2006) 4 Crimes 171 (SC): (2006) 3 JCC 1735: (2006) 4 Recent CR 603.

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  • Accused of Molest: Outrage of Modesty in Singapore

Accused of Molest: Outrage of Modesty in Singapore

Last updated on July 27, 2018

Featured image for the "Accused of Molest: Outrage of Modesty in Singapore" article. It features a man reaching out to touch a womans butt.

“Outrage of modesty” is a term commonly seen in the papers – for example, where a man gropes a woman inappropriately and ends up serving jail time for it. It seems that the outrage of modesty has been equated with the crime of molest in Singapore.

If you were to search through the main source of criminal legislation in Singapore – the Penal Code – you can locate the term at section 354 of the Code itself . What, then, does the term “outrage of modesty” actually mean in the first place?

Meaning of “Outrage of Modesty”

The use of the term “outrage of modesty” originates from  section 354 of the Penal Code which criminalises the offence of the:

“assault or use of criminal force to a person with intent to outrage modesty“.

The use of criminal force is a key element. Hence, simply staring at someone inappropriately would not fall afoul of this section, which has mainly been applied to molestation cases.

As for what it means to actually outrage someone’s modesty, there appears to be no easy answer to this question. The Penal Code does not expressly define “modesty”. This may be partly because views about what constitutes an outrage to modesty may vary over time and according to the context in which the incident occurs, as well as the race or religion of the victim.

Cases of Molestation

A wide variety of cases falling within the definition of the outrage of modesty have been reported. They include:

  • A tutor touching the breasts and thighs of a student
  • Hugging and kissing a woman
  • Grabbing a woman from behind and squeezing her breasts
  • Touching a secretary on the back and slapping her lightly on her buttocks
  • An acupuncturist kissing and nibbling his victim’s toes

A Gender-Neutral Crime

The offence of outraging modesty can be committed by men or women.

However, it is evident that more often than not, male culprits are the ones responsible for transgressions of section 354.

Consent, Intention and Knowledge

Intimate physical acts would not constitute an outrage of modesty if there is consent.

Also, for the offence to stand, the offender must have intended or knew that the acts were likely to outrage modesty.

For instance, a couple dancing closely in a club would be taken to have impliedly consented to mutual touching. Similarly, a doctor examining a female patient in accordance with established medical procedures would likely to not be found to have intended to outrage the patient’s modesty.

Aggravated Punishments in Certain Cases

  • Section 73 of the Penal Code provides enhanced punishments for offences against domestic maids .
  • Section 354(2) also provides for harsher punishments in cases involving victims below 14 years of age.
  • Section 354A similarly imposes stiffer sentences against offenders in “outrage of modesty” cases which involve offences committed in lifts, physical threats, voluntarily causing hurt , wrongful restraint, and death.

“Upskirt” Offences

Although the provision requires the involvement of assault or the use of criminal force in the act, this does not mean that other perverted acts that do not require physical contact will go unpunished.

For example,  section 509 of the Penal Code criminalises words or gestures intended to “insult the modesty” of women. The Singapore courts have interpreted this section to include the taking of upskirt photographs.

Mere Attempts

Mere attempts to outrage a woman’s modesty, including failed attempts to commit an offence, are also punishable under section 511 of the Penal Code .

If you have been charged with committing outrage of modesty, you may consult one of our criminal defence lawyers for legal advice on how to proceed with your case.

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    Legal Terminology

    Modesty

    Legal Issues and Law in Everyday Life in India

    Laws in India

    Word Definitions, Terminology, and Jargon

    Legal Issues and Law in Everyday Life

    Law

    Human Behavior

    In sections of law, what does "outrage the modesty" mean?

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    7 Answers

    Ayushi Jatthap

    Ayushi Jatthap , Lawyer at Sharma’s Chamber (2012-present)

    First of all we need to know the meaning of outrage & Modesty…

    Outrage means an extremely strong reaction of anger or shock or indignation.

    Modesty means the quality or state being modest, lack of pretentious.

    Section 354 explains about Assualt or criminal force to women with intent to outrage her modesty.

    This above section is framed especially to Protect a women from the offence of “out-raging the modesty of a women” under this section the aggrieved party must be a women.

    Section 354 :- Whoever assualts or used criminal force to any women, intending to outrage or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby outrage her modesty, shall be punishable with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 2 years, or with fine or with both

    Nature of offence: cognizable, bailable, Triable by any magistrate and non- compoundable

    “Rape includes modesty but modesty doesn’t include rape”

    Your feedback is private.
    Is this answer useful?

    Akhilesh Kumar Mishra

    Akhilesh Kumar Mishra , Legum Baccalaureus from Faculty of Law, University of Delhi

    A2A.

    As per Section 354 of IPC two essential elements of this offence are-

    1. Assaulting or using criminal force against a woman.
    2. The intention or the knowledge that the act in question is likely to outrage the modesty.

    See section 354 IPC verbatim-

    Section 354 in The Indian Penal Code

    In Ramkripal v state of M.P, SC held "The essence of a womans modesty is her sex."

    "The act of pulling a woman, removing her saree, coupled with a request for sexual intercourse…would be an outrage to the modesty of a woman; and knowledge, that modesty is likely to be outraged, is sufficient to constitute the offence,"

    In other words, outraging a womans modesty as mentioned in Section 354 will apply to crimes against women that stop short of penetration, in which event it becomes rape.

    The bench said: "The culpable intention of the accused is the crux of the matter. The reaction of the woman is very relevant, but its absence is not always decisive."

    In this case Ramkripal, convicted of rape, had sought lenience pleading that he was, at worst, guilty of outraging the womans modesty. The court, however, rejected the argument while pointing out that Ramkripal, against whom it was established that he penetrated the female organ of the victim, was guilty of rape and cannot be allowed to get away with a lighter punishment.

    For full judgement see-

    Ramkripal S/O Shyamlal Charmakar vs State Of Madhya Pradesh on 19 March, 2007

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    Meera Balaji

    Meera Balaji , works at Tata Consultancy Services

    Anything you did on the opposte gender..physical,emotional territories without the consent of a person.

    Your feedback is private.
    Is this answer useful?

    Anurag Kumar Gupta

    Anurag Kumar Gupta , I always keep a keen sight over legal issues and walk with their lacunaes.

    In the case Aman Kumar v. State of Harayana, (2004) 4 SCC 379, 388 it was cited that "the act of pulling a woman, removing her dress coupled with a request for sexual intercourse is such as would be an outrage to the modesty of a woman"

    By the way, outraging not only include request for  sexual intercourse but IPC, 1860 says many more things on it such as if someone utters any word which is against the self respect of the woman, it constitutes outrageous act.

    When someone makes any sound or gesture or exhibits any object intending to such sound or word shall be heard or that gesture be seen by someone, it also constitutes outrageous act.

    In Toto I van say that anything that defames a woman and which is immoral and against the societal consensus, those all acts constitutes outrageous act and those all scoundrels shall be punished according to section 509 of IPC.

    Aseem Jha

    Aseem Jha , Law is the difference between an accused and a convict.

    Section 354 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 reads as follows:

    Outraging the modesty of a woman means, whoever assaults or uses criminal force to any woman, intending to outrage her modesty, or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby outrage her modesty shall be punished with an imprisonment of 1 year, may extend to 5 years and with fine.

    Modesty is not defined in IPC, but it can be said to be a virtue, which is attached to a female owing to her sex.

    Illustrations: disrobing a woman, pulling a woman, requesting a woman for sexual intercourse.

    Your feedback is private.
    Is this answer useful?

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    Raghuram

    Raghuram , Advocate

    Outrage of modesty has got new scope in the present

    Everything which causes damage to the other person by a way of physical or mental by the means of directly or indirectly by the behavior

    Falls under the category

    Refer 354 of IPC.

    This page may be out of date. Submit any pending changes before refreshing this page.
    Hide this message .
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    Legal Terminology

    Modesty

    Legal Issues and Law in Everyday Life in India

    Laws in India

    Word Definitions, Terminology, and Jargon

    Legal Issues and Law in Everyday Life

    Law

    Human Behavior

    In sections of law, what does "outrage the modesty" mean?

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    7 Answers

    Ayushi Jatthap

    Ayushi Jatthap , Lawyer at Sharma’s Chamber (2012-present)

    First of all we need to know the meaning of outrage & Modesty…

    Outrage means an extremely strong reaction of anger or shock or indignation.

    Modesty means the quality or state being modest, lack of pretentious.

    Section 354 explains about Assualt or criminal force to women with intent to outrage her modesty.

    This above section is framed especially to Protect a women from the offence of “out-raging the modesty of a women” under this section the aggrieved party must be a women.

    Section 354 :- Whoever assualts or used criminal force to any women, intending to outrage or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby outrage her modesty, shall be punishable with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 2 years, or with fine or with both

    Nature of offence: cognizable, bailable, Triable by any magistrate and non- compoundable

    “Rape includes modesty but modesty doesn’t include rape”

    Your feedback is private.
    Is this answer useful?

    Akhilesh Kumar Mishra

    Akhilesh Kumar Mishra , Legum Baccalaureus from Faculty of Law, University of Delhi

    A2A.

    As per Section 354 of IPC two essential elements of this offence are-

    1. Assaulting or using criminal force against a woman.
    2. The intention or the knowledge that the act in question is likely to outrage the modesty.

    See section 354 IPC verbatim-

    Section 354 in The Indian Penal Code

    In Ramkripal v state of M.P, SC held "The essence of a womans modesty is her sex."

    "The act of pulling a woman, removing her saree, coupled with a request for sexual intercourse…would be an outrage to the modesty of a woman; and knowledge, that modesty is likely to be outraged, is sufficient to constitute the offence,"

    In other words, outraging a womans modesty as mentioned in Section 354 will apply to crimes against women that stop short of penetration, in which event it becomes rape.

    The bench said: "The culpable intention of the accused is the crux of the matter. The reaction of the woman is very relevant, but its absence is not always decisive."

    In this case Ramkripal, convicted of rape, had sought lenience pleading that he was, at worst, guilty of outraging the womans modesty. The court, however, rejected the argument while pointing out that Ramkripal, against whom it was established that he penetrated the female organ of the victim, was guilty of rape and cannot be allowed to get away with a lighter punishment.

    For full judgement see-

    Ramkripal S/O Shyamlal Charmakar vs State Of Madhya Pradesh on 19 March, 2007

    promoted by HashFish

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    Download at hash.fish

    Meera Balaji

    Meera Balaji , works at Tata Consultancy Services

    Anything you did on the opposte gender..physical,emotional territories without the consent of a person.

    Your feedback is private.
    Is this answer useful?

    Anurag Kumar Gupta

    Anurag Kumar Gupta , I always keep a keen sight over legal issues and walk with their lacunaes.

    In the case Aman Kumar v. State of Harayana, (2004) 4 SCC 379, 388 it was cited that "the act of pulling a woman, removing her dress coupled with a request for sexual intercourse is such as would be an outrage to the modesty of a woman"

    By the way, outraging not only include request for  sexual intercourse but IPC, 1860 says many more things on it such as if someone utters any word which is against the self respect of the woman, it constitutes outrageous act.

    When someone makes any sound or gesture or exhibits any object intending to such sound or word shall be heard or that gesture be seen by someone, it also constitutes outrageous act.

    In Toto I van say that anything that defames a woman and which is immoral and against the societal consensus, those all acts constitutes outrageous act and those all scoundrels shall be punished according to section 509 of IPC.

    Aseem Jha

    Aseem Jha , Law is the difference between an accused and a convict.

    Section 354 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 reads as follows:

    Outraging the modesty of a woman means, whoever assaults or uses criminal force to any woman, intending to outrage her modesty, or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby outrage her modesty shall be punished with an imprisonment of 1 year, may extend to 5 years and with fine.

    Modesty is not defined in IPC, but it can be said to be a virtue, which is attached to a female owing to her sex.

    Illustrations: disrobing a woman, pulling a woman, requesting a woman for sexual intercourse.

    Your feedback is private.
    Is this answer useful?

    ad by Quora for Business

    Quora has great answers. Have a great solution? Promote it here.
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    Raghuram

    Raghuram , Advocate

    Outrage of modesty has got new scope in the present

    Everything which causes damage to the other person by a way of physical or mental by the means of directly or indirectly by the behavior

    Falls under the category

    Refer 354 of IPC.

    About the Author: admin