What are Sexual Gestures?

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.]

If anyone makes any sexual gestures that are insulting and sexual in nature, it is a crime. Under the law, only a man can be punished for the crime.(( Section 354A, Indian Penal Code, 1860)) 

Some examples of sexual actions and gestures are, when a person:

  • Inappropriately touches themselves while looking at someone.
  • Makes gestures such as flying kisses, whistling or gesturing to someone’s body.(( State v. Mohd Zahir, District Court, Delhi, SC No. 103/13, Order dated: 08.10.2013; Yogendra Nath v. Commissioner Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan ILR (2014) 2 Delhi 1428.))
  • Undressing in front of a person and showing sexual gestures, even after the person has clearly expressed disinterest and discomfort.

The punishment for making sexual gestures is jail time between minimum one year and maximum five years along with a fine.(( Section 354, Indian Penal Code, 1860.))

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