Staring "annoyingly" at a woman for 14 seconds or more can land a man in jail, claimed a top Kerala official on 15 August.
"There are sections in law to jail a man for annoyingly staring at a woman for 14 seconds. Please use it (the provisions in the law), if it is the case," State Excise Commissioner Rishiraj Singh said.
He made the comments at an event organised by a charitable trust in Kochi two days ago.
Urging women to fight the hooligans disturbing them, Singh had also asked them to carry knives and chili spray in their bags to protect themselves from such elements.
"Are you carrying a knife in your bag? Are you carrying chilly spray? Time is over for taking such precautions" he had said.
While his comments might have been made with good intentions, keeping women's safety in mind, it drew varied reactions on social media and Kerala Sports Minister EP Jayarajan termed them as "irritating".
"The remarks are irritating. If a bureaucrat makes remarks which are not in law, certainly the minister concerned will examine it and necessary steps will be taken," he told reporters.