Force and aspects of Criminal Force
Author : V. Krishna Laasya
Use of force mechanism like assault, battery etc are common in the world today and it is important that the laws prescribed against such mechanisms are altered to suit the growing offences in the society and the regulation revolving around the same must be addressed to at the earliest.
Under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 the term ‘force’ is said to be used when a person causes a change in the existing motion or a cessation in the existing motion or when he causes a change in motion or cessation of motion to any substance as and when the substance is brought into the touch or contact with any other person’s body or the other person’s wearing or carrying in such a way that the contact or touch affects the other person’s feeling sense.
As per S. 349 of the IPC, the term force applied and used refers to its relevance and its connection to the human body.
The Proviso attached to the section states that the person who causes the change in motion or cessation must apply it in any of the following ways:
- The person’s own power in the body
- Leaving or disposing the substance that causes the change in the motion or cessation of the motion without any furtherance on part of the person or any other person.
- Making and inducing any animal to change its motion or ceasing to move.
- There must be a change in the existing motion, occurrence of motion or cessation of motion.
- The motion caused by the person must be in such a way that there must be a substantial or a major change.
- Even a substance brought in contact with another person or affects the feeling of the person is said to constitute force.
- The change in motion and cessation must be in such a way that there is a change either through a person’s use of bodily power, disposing the very substance that causes a change in the motion or cessation without the person who caused it committing any furthering act.
Under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 the term criminal force has its application with reference to the presence of the fulfillment of features laid down. The relevant provision states that if there is a conscious and intentional use and application of force without the consent of another person, in order to commit an offence or such conscious use of force is applied after knowledge that the it will cause an injury or fear in the mind of the person against whom the force is applied to, then the person is said to use criminal force against the other.
- A person must have applied force on any other person
- The force must have been used against or without the consent of the other person.
- The act must have been committed in order to constitute an offence.
- The intention of such usage must be in such a way that the act will cause fear, annoyance or injury against the person on whom the force has been applied at.
The concept of consent constitutes a huge weightage in the application of the concept. The term criminal force is considered to be so, only if there is no consent from the person against whom the offence has occurred. If there is consent, the act will no longer constitute a criminal offence.
As per Section 352 of the IPC, if there is an application or use of criminal force or assault against any person especially if it is based on grave and sudden provocation, the imprisonment will be at the most three months or a fine of at maximum Rs. 500 or in some cases, both. Thus, the magnitude of the offence will depend on the application and usage of the same.
High magnitude of Criminal Force
Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code refers to Aggravated or High Forms of Criminal Force where the chastity and modesty of a woman is put in check and the intention to outrage the woman’s modesty leads to the commission of a criminal offence.
Such an offence also constitutes invading the woman’s privacy and bad usage of language or a gesture. Physical contact, demand for favors in a sexual manner and displaying pornography against the interest shall be inclusive of criminal offence.
Section 353 of the Indian Penal Code states that if there has been an assault on any public servant especially when he is in the course of employment (in course of duty) especially with the intention of deterring the duty, offence of criminal nature is said to have been constituted.
Section 354B of the Indian Penal Code states that if there has been an attempt to disrobe a woman from her clothes or compelling here to display her nakedness, offence of a criminal nature is said to have been constituted. During such an offence, even abetting is considered a offence.
As per Section 355 of the Indian Penal Code If any force has been applied on a person in such a manner that it leads to dishonor of the person, criminal offence with imprisonment of two years is said to be constituted.
Under Section 357 of the Indian Penal Code, if the criminal force applied, is to wrongfully detain the person in any manner plausible by law, offence with imprisonment of a year will be awarded.
Assault is an apprehension in the minds of the person who has the intention and is conscious of getting hurt. There is no physical application necessarily. Criminal force is applied in ill effect and hence there is a need to condemn such action. Strict and rigid laws are required to be applied and the persons exercising such evil crimes like obstructing privacy of women must be penalized.
Stringent penalty must be imposed and the offence of a criminal nature must be taken very seriously and with utmost importance. Stalking, after the inception of the digital era must be put to a standstill as it victimizes and harasses the people subjected to such a heinous offence.
Pornography against the will of the women, capturing the image without the consent and dissemination of the image must be taken very strictly and a term of rigorous imprisonment must be awarded. Preparation to commit a criminal offence and a mere gesture with complete intention can be taken to explain the image of a criminal offence and so, the concepts of criminal force and its dangers must be made aware to all persons, irrespective of the technological measures taken.
 Force, Application and Effects, Section 349 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860
 Verbatim Reading of Section 349, see <https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1346144/>. Last accessed 14 August 2020.
 Verbatim Reading of S. 350 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 see <https://www.indiacode.nic.in/show-data?actid=AC_CEN_5_23_00037_186045_1523266765688§ionId=46117§ionno=350&orderno=390#:~:text=Whoever%20intentionally%20uses%20force%20to,is%20used%2C%20is%20said%20to>. Last accessed 14 August 2020.
 For References made on Voluminous and Aggravated Forms of Criminal Force, see <https://blog.ipleaders.in/criminal-force-and-assault/#:~:text=When%20a%20person%20intentionally%20uses,force%20on%20the%20other%20person.>. last accessed 14 August 2020.