My reply to this question on Quora was flagged as not being a direct reply to question asked:
Your answer doesn’t answer the question
This answer should directly respond to the specific question asked.
The reason I didn’t give a supposedly direct answer was that I was asked by someone to answer this question, and another person before me had given plenty of direct information in his reply, so I decided to give a reply which will be more educative than making a person depend on asking a different question for every small doubt – avoiding the the spoon feeding approach, basically. And in fact, my answer suggests the right way for a layman/citizen to approach police, because the alternative is for a citizen to learn up on IPC before approaching police, which is not how it should be – you don’t and shouldn’t need to know IPC section for assault to report an assault to police.
The last part of my answer is in light of recent incidents in India, where women have gone to facebook or twitter and maligned some man; got lot of sympathetic tweets/replies/likes etc, but never once bothered to file complaint to police actually, even when suggested to do the same by others!
So now that quora has collapsed my answer and probably it won’t be visible to quora readers, I reproduce the question asked and my answer to it below, so my effort in writing it don’t become a total waste:
If someone is sending life threatening and/or sexual , obscene messages, rape threats etc What can be done in such situation. What charges can be pressed against him/her.
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My original answer to above question on quora is reproduced below:
Generally, it should not be the worry of a layperson to decide what charges (as in what sections of IPC) are to be put in a complaint. If that was the case, most people won’t be able to file complaints to police about a crime. E.g. you don’t need to know which IPC section applies for crime of theft, you just need to report a theft and it’s job of police to see which sections have to be put in report.
Life threatening messages should be taken seriously and no need to learn up on law before reporting to police.
You have to approach police and state all the facts, and police should be competent to decide on what IPC (or other special) sections to include in complaint/FIR.
e.g. IPC 509 is for outraging modesty of a woman. Similarly there will be other sections.
If you are curious, better to open IPC bare act and search for keywords like modesty, obscene, threat etc, and see which section description matches your case.
What not to do?
- Take a pic of some guy on street, write a story, and post on facebook. Facebook can be useful for some things, but not the right forum to set process of law in motion.
- Use law as a weapon to teach someone a lesson… Law is meant to protect innocent and deter criminals, and it anyway doesn’t guarantee that someone will be able to learn a lesson or not!