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Voyeurism and how it is different from Stalking.


Authored By- Divya Surana

Keywords- #Voyeurism #Stalking #Criminal_Law_Amendment_Act_2013 #IPC #Electronic_Voyeurism


Abstract-

The term voyeurism means that "to have sexual pleasure by watching others when they are engrossed in sexual activity or naked" It is also mentioned in the Indian Penal Code 1860 under section 354C in chapter XVI. It was not there in the original draft if IPC, 1860 but was added by the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 2013. For the first conviction of the accused the punishment is imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than one year and may extend to three years.


Introduction-

The term voyeurism means that “to have sexual pleasure by watching others when they are engrossed in sexual activity or naked”. It is also mentioned in the Indian Penal Code 1860 under section 354C in chapter XVI. It was not there in the original draft if IPC, 1860 but was added by the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 2013. This was brought after the brutal gang-rape that happened in Delhi in the year, 2012.


Section 354C:

Any man who watches, or captures the image of a woman engaging in a private act in circumstances where she would usually have the expectation of not being observed either by the perpetrator or by any other person at the behest of the perpetrator or disseminates such image shall be punished on first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than one year, but which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to fine, and be punished on a second or subsequent conviction, with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than three years, but which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.


Explanation

Voyeurism can also be understood as the act of spying others when engaged in private activities, which the other [person or persons do not wish to expose for example undressing or carnal intercourse. The provision has important elements specifically mentioned as:

· Any man, watching.

· Capturing the image.

· Of a woman engaged in a private act.

· Where she usually does not expect of being observed by someone or anyone on behalf of the perpetrator.

· If the women consent to the capturing of images but not dissemination to the third party this shall fall under the same offence.


Voyeurism not only stops at the point that a man has watched women engaged in a private act which can be: un-dressing, using the lavatory, having sex and any other act which is not done ordinarily in public, but also leaves its bad effects on the women due to the presence of technology. The dissemination of images or videos captured also leads to huge harm to women’s dignity and mental health. The intrusion into the privacy of women at places where she is supposed to have privacy, increased this forced the legislature to include the provision to bestow women with a safe environment.


Punishment

For the first conviction of the accused the punishment is imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than one year and may extend to three years, shall also be liable for fine.

For the second conviction imprisonment of either description for a term not less than 3 years and may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable for fine.


Other provisions in India to stop these practices:

This is the era of technology where it can work in both the sense good and bad. The dissemination of captured material can be done using the technology these days. There are some provisions relating the same in the Information Technology Act, 2000. Such as, Section 66E which talks about the violation of privacy-whoever intentionally captures, publishes, or transmits the image of a private area of any person without his consent shall be punished. Section 67 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 which states that- punishment for publishing obscene material in electronic form.


Difference between Voyeurism and Stalking

As discussed above voyeurism, let us know about stalking. Stalking is an offence under IPC, 1860 under section 354D, chapter XVI. The essentials of stalking are:

· A man who follows, contacts or attempt to contract a women

· Despite her clear disinterest

· Monitoring the use of electronic communication by women

· Provided that, the purpose should not be- preventing, or pursued under Law, reasonable.


Key Differences:

· Voyeurism is about attaining sexual satisfaction by watching whereas; Stalking is following or contacting women despite her disinterest.

· In voyeurism, the captured material is disseminated, and in stalking the use of electronic communication is monitored.

· In voyeurism, the act can be done by anyone on behalf of the perpetrator and the act of stalking is done by the perpetrator himself not anyone on his behalf.

· In voyeurism, if the women consent to the capture of images of any act and not to its dissemination and if the captured material is disseminated then it becomes an offence whereas, in stalking if the act is done for these three purposes i.e. preventing crime, pursued under Law and reasonable, then it is not considered as an offence.


Conclusion

The fear in the minds of women is growing because the places where she would usually have an expectation of not being observed or captured and have full privacy, like in changing rooms, private rooms of a hotel, while using washrooms, etc are lacking in granting them privacy. This may cause them to trauma. The insult to the modesty of women is more harmful than physical pain. Criminal Law Amendment, 2013 was much needed to specifically define certain offences which were although present under IPC but, were a part of or together with some other offence.


References-

1. https://www.legistify.com/indianpenalcode/details/ipc-section-354c-voyeurism/

2. https://www.indiacode.nic.in/show-data?actid=AC_CEN_5_23_00037_186045_1523266765688&orderno=398

3. https://advocatespedia.com/Section_354C_-_Voyeurism

4. https://lawctopus.com/clatalogue/sexual-offences-in-ipc-outraging-modesty-disrobing-voyeurism-and-stalking/