Laws on kidnapping and Abduction

Submitted by asandil on Mon, 02/24/2014 - 18:37

Kidnapping means stealing of a person from one place to another against his/her will under circumstances in which the person is not allowed to move freely. The capture usually involves criminal acts such as holding the person for sadistic abuse, ransom, reward, sexual or rape. The crime of unlawfully carrying away the person by fraud or force and detaining the person against his/her will is difficult to define with precision because it differs from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

Abduction is the offence where a person forcefully or deceitfully compels a person to go from any place. The victim could be a minor or major. Abduction is an offence when committed to help other crimes. Whoever takes any minor under sixteen years of age if a female, or less than eighteen years of age if a male, out of the keeping of the lawful guardian of such minor or person of unsound mind, without the consent of such guardian, is said to kidnap such minor or person from lawful guardianship

According to Section 363 in the Indian Penal code, 1860, whoever kidnaps any person from India or from lawful guardianship, shall be punished with imprisonment that can extend up to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine. Where the kidnapping is done for the purposes of begging then it shall be punishable with imprisonment, which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.

According to Section 364A in The Indian Penal Code, 1860, kidnapping for ransom etc.- Whoever kidnaps or abducts any person or keeps a person in detention after such kidnapping or abduction, and threatens to cause death or hurt to such person, or by his conduct gives rise to a reasonable apprehension that such person may be put to death or hurt, or causes hurt or death to such person in order to compel the Government or any foreign State or international inter- governmental organization or any other person to do or abstain from doing any act or to pay a ransom, shall be punishable with death or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.

In a recent case the Delhi High Court has declared that in order to constitute an offence of kidnapping punishable under Section 363 of the Indian Penal Code, "there has to be taking or enticing of a minor from the lawful guardianship of her parents/guardian. If the minor, of her own, abandons the guardianship of her parents and joins a boy, without any role having been played by the boy in her abandoning the guardianship of her parents and without her having been subjected to any kind of pressure, inducement, etc. and without any offer or promise from the accused, no offence punishable under Section 363 of IPC will be made out when the girl is aged more than 16 years and is mature enough to understand what she is doing."