Insult the modesty of a Woman
Can I be charged under IPC 509 for calling a girl a 'bitch' on facebook ? when she started the name calling first ?
Section 509 of the Indian Penal Code penalizes a person for word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman. The law intends to protect the modesty of women which has been subject to some debates. In the case of Swapna Barman Vs. Subir Das (2004)1GLR168 it was clearly identified that the act need not be a sexual advance or contemplation of sexual relationship of an indecent character. This Section can also include indecency, but does not exclude all other acts falling short of downright indenency. Recently the Supreme Court has also identified that the affected party must feel insulted by the act of the accused for the application of the provision. Considering this point the COurt also elaborated that a person infringing on the woma's privacy can also be covered under the said provision. http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2007-03-21/india/27870988_1_modesty-outraging-definition
Therefore the application of the term has wide meaning and can cover the incident mentioned by you. She may have initiated the incident but she can initiate a complaint on the basis of your response. Although the decision will be swayed by the content of the conversation and the context. It is difficult to assess that without a proper objective reading of the conversation.
Book a phone consultation with a top-rated lawyer on Lawfarm.