BY- SAYLI GHADIGAONKAR
Since 2005, Indian laws forbid kidnapping and abduction. Despite the fact, over 100,000 kidnapping and abduction cases have come up in India. People have persisted to take benefit of the sensitive age of minors to kidnap them and abuse and compel them to perform hideous acts. Such crimes are an attack on the independence and liberty of citizens and have to be prevented.
Kidnapping means the elimination of a person from society against his/her wish by force, fraud, or threat. Generally, the object to kidnap is to get a ransom, or for some political or other purposes, etc.
As stated in Section 359, Kidnapping is of two kinds, Kidnapping from India and Kidnapping from lawful guardianship.
- Kidnapping from India
As mentioned in Section 360, if any person takes a person beyond the limits of India against the consent of that person or the consent of someone who is legally entitled by section to give consent on that person’s behalf, then the offence of kidnapping from India is executed.
- Keeping of Lawful Guardian
Illustration: ‘P’ is a boy of 12 years of age, living under the lawful guardianship of his mother, ‘A’. ‘Q’ induces him to go along with him to his house against the consent of his mother. According to Section 361, ‘Q’ has committed the offence of Kidnapping from lawful guardianship.
Exception to this section is that it does not result in the crime of kidnapping from lawful guardianship, if the person in good faith, i.e., honestly with reason, believes that:
- He is entitled to the lawful custody of the child; or
- He is the father of an illegitimate child.
Hence, if in the above illustration, ‘Q’ believes that ‘P’ is his illegitimate son, then the act would not result in kidnapping from lawful guardianship.
RELEVANT CASE LAW
Netra pal vs. State (National Capital Territory of Delhi), 2001:
Facts: In this case the appellant Tanu Johia, a 6-year-old boy. One day Netra Pal had taken the boy with other boys on a joy ride in a Rickshaw, he did not drop off Tanu. His mother had thought that Netra would come back with her son in a while. When he didn’t come back, she filed a police report. The police went to the appellant’s village and found him there along with the child. He was apprehended and a letter asking for Rs. 50,000 in ransom was found in his possession.
Judgement: The court held that Demand by a kidnapper is an essential ingredient of the offence because, for the purpose of getting paid ransom, demand must be communicated.
The punishment prescribed Section 363 in is:
- Imprisonment of either description which can extend up to seven years, and
READ ALSO: EXTORTION UNDER INDIAN PENAL CODE, 1860
Section 362 of denotes that if a person compels another person to go from one place, or induces some person to go from one place, then the offence of abduction is committed.
Illustration: ‘B’ slaps and hurts ‘A’ and tells her that if she would not leave with him, he would kill her. In this case, ‘B’ commits the offence of abduction as he uses forceful means to take ‘A’ away from her house.
Section 362 says that abduction can happen in two ways. One of these is force. In abduction, a person is forced to go from one place to another, against his/her will. The use of force, as mentioned in this section, must be actual, and not just a threat of force to constitute abduction.
According to Section 362, the other way abduction can take place is by inducing someone to go from someplace by misleading him/her to do something he/she would not normally do. The scope of inducement here is very wide.
Illustration: ‘A’ is a man who wears the uniform of a police officer to convince a girl, ‘B’ to come to his house with him, and because of his misrepresentation she goes with him. In this case, ‘A’ uses deceitful means to commit the offence of abduction.
Let’s look at case law to understand how abductions happen through deceitful means.
To go from any place
For abduction to be completed, it is essential that the person is compelled to go from one place to some other place, either forcefully or by using deceitful means. It cannot be called abduction if the person is not taken to someplace.
RELEVANT CASE LAW (Abduction)
Malleshi vs. State of Karnataka (2004)
Facts: One day when Vijay Bhaskar was waiting to board the bus to go back to his house from college, he was called by a man who told him he knew his father. He further inquired about the college’s fees saying he wanted to enroll his son here.
He then led Vijay Bhasker to a jeep informing him that his son is there and made him sit in the jeep. Then two other men enquired about his father’s phone number and told him that they want a ransom of Rs. 4,00,000. On the way, they stopped to buy cigarettes. Then he runs away as per the advice of the driver. He found out he was in Byrapur village, He informed the villagers who caught hold of the abductors and handed them over to the police.
Judgement: The court held that V.S. has been abducted through deceitful means. And it was held that in this case, the demand for ransom had been conveyed to the victim and the offence was completed. The court further said that it cannot be a straight jacket rule that the demand for abduction must always be made to the person who is required to ultimately pay it.
Section 359 to 369 has mentioned the provisions for securing the freedom of people. They provide security to children against kidnapping and abduction. Moreover, they reinforce the rights of guardians to have control over the children who are easily moved and convinced by the words of conspiring adults.