Article written by Advocate Alpa Jogi on IPC 354D Stalking
Stalking generally means following woman either online or physically in the absence of their consent with a motive to establish personal interaction with such a woman even after the woman has clearly shown disinterest. Stalking is defined under the section 354D of the Indian Penal Code and it is a punishable offence. Stalking not only is a crime on its own but is also the reason for certain other crimes, most commonly sexual harassment.
It is important to understand and determine whether the actions happening to you are as per the Section, that is:
(1) If you are being followed or contacted by a man.
(2) The man shows intentions to build personal interaction.
(3) You have indicated disinterest.
(4) Recognise if any other actions are happening along with stalking.
If a woman feels all of the above points than an FIR/complaint should be filled against it at the nearest police station. Since 354D is a cognizable offence, police can arrest the offender without the approval of the court followed by which investigation begins.
Most cases of stalking go unnoticed because women do not want to risk the freedom of being able to move around and many eyewitnesses ignore it, this has rendered the offence be not taken seriously at all even if there is a provision to punish it. With awareness and education on how to react in situations of being stalked or invoking Section 354D to report the crime (filling an FIR and approaching the right authorities) a change can be brought.
Note : Above information is in general form, issued with a motive to help. Author disowns any kind of liability.
You can contact Advocate Alpa Jogi for assistance on any kind of legal matters