What is Physical Stalking?

Last updated on May 11, 2022

[Trigger Warning: This explainer contains information on physical violence, sexual violence, abuse and slurs which some readers may find disturbing.]

It is a crime to physically stalk someone, i.e. someone tries to follow a person wherever they go and contact them even after they have expressed their disinterest. Under the law, only a man can be punished for the crime.(( Section 354D, Indian Penal Code, 1860.))

Some examples of physical stalking are:

  • Waiting outside a person’s house every day, sending gifts and letters everyday despite a lack of interest.
  • Following someone from their place of work(( Shri Deu Baju Bodake v. The State of Maharashtra, 2016 SCC Bom 15454; Arun Kumar Mishra v. State Crl. A. No. 1577/2014; Kalandi Charan Lenka v. State of Orissa BLAPL No.7596 of 2016.)) to the places they visit regularly.
  • Repeated requests or demands for sexual favours or confessions of love.(( Shri Deu Baju Bodake v. The State of Maharashtra, 2016 SCC Bom 15454.))

The punishment for physical stalking is jail time up to three years along with a fine. For repeat offenders, the punishment is higher, i.e. up to five years jail time along with a fine.(( Section 354D, Indian Penal Code, 1860.))

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