A sessions court in Maharashtra has found guilty 11 women and a man for outraging the modesty of a 22-year-old woman.
The 12 have been sentenced to two years’ imprisonment.
The convicted were accused of assaulting the woman, stripping her of clothes and parading her naked in Sewri in 2010.
During the hearing of the case, the court dismissed the argument of the defence that ‘outraging the modesty of a woman’ charge does not hold against the 11 women as the IPC Section states “he will thereby outrage the modesty of a woman”.
“Section 8 of IPC deals with gender, denotes that the pronoun ‘he’ and its derivatives are used for any person, whether male or female. ‘He’ in Section 354 (outraging the modesty of a woman) of IPC requires to be read as per definition of gender under Section 8 of IPC which applies the male or female. So in such a situation, Section 354 of IPC would apply to women also,” the court said.
The victim was attacked by a mob on June 17, 2010 – her brother was accused of raping a four-year-old girl and was subsequently arrested.
The court said the enraged mob attacked the victim to take revenge for the act of her brother.
“The nature of the incident is too heinous as the accused assembled together, pulled the lady from her house in an open place, and made her naked by tearing her clothes,” the judge said.