The term voyeurism is derived from the French word voir which means to see. When someone intervenes into private space of other person without his/her permission where the person is expecting no one to watch him/her while performing an act is known as voyeurism. A voyeur is a person who derives sexual gratification from observing others when they undress or when they are engaged in sexual activities and in most of the cases males are identified as voyeurs. A male voyeur is called as Peeping Tom or as a Jags. In voyeurism, the person being observed may have no connection with the voyeur in any way. Offences like voyeurism, stalking, acid attack and many more have been included in Indian Penal Code.
The important factor of voyeurism is that the person being watched does not know that they are being observed. The person is in a place where they expect privacy, such as their home or other private area.
Provision Under IPC
Section 354C of Indian Penal Code talks about Voyeurism. If any man watches or click photographs or disseminates such images of a woman who is engaged in a private act in circumstances where she would expect of not being observed by any other person. Such person shall be punished on first conviction with imprisonment for a minimum term of one year, extendable to three years, and shall also be liable to fine, and be punished on a second conviction, with imprisonment for minimum term of three years, extendable to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine. Here the second conviction is not the second accusation of offence. The second or subsequent offence commences after the accused has been punished once for the same act. Voyeurism needs a separate provision. Though it doesn’t harm any individual physically but it creates a mental trauma over the person. It is the violation of Right to privacy.
The concept of Voyeurism started with the Information Technology Act 2000, in which the penalty was up to 3 years with a maximum fine of Rs. 2 lakhs. With the incorporation of provisions like Section 66E, 67, 67A and 79 of the acts covers the prohibition of all activities like recording, capturing, recording of obscenity, and capturing a Sexually explicit act.
The concept of voyeurism was raised in April 2015, when the Human Resource Development Minister, Smriti Irani, spotted a hidden camera in one of Fab India store which was pointing towards trial rooms of the store. She reported to the Jurisdictional police. The incident was covered widely. However, most of the people in our society is less aware regarding such horrible crime.
Voyeurism is not just an act that affects the society, it is an act that violates the fundamental rights of a person. The act of Voyeurism stands entirely against an individual’s Right to privacy. It might not be an act which physically endangers a person but it creates a fear inside the individual and also creates a mental trauma which may be very disturbing. Keeping an individual’s personal information private are also an essential part of the security of people. Stalking, acid attacks and voyeurism if criminalized will give some confidence to the citizens that their privacy is safeguarded. Some people get habituated for the offence of voyeurism knowing that it’s not correct. Such people need to be diagnosed under the medical supervision.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.
We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge