November 30, 2023
A statue of Lady Justice

We frequently witness violently removing someone from their family or a loved one and transporting them to a different location in order to demand a ransom from them in films or television shows. Usually, we refer to it as a “kidnapping.” However, we are less familiar with the word “abduction.” Similar to kidnapping, abduction requires specific goals to be met after removal in order to qualify as a crime. On the other hand, in abduction, the act of taking itself is illegal.

Kidnapping IPC Section: About

  • The definition of kidnapping and the consequences for its commission are outlined in Section 359 of the IPC. The term “kidnapping” is the illegal act of forcibly removing and holding someone against their will, frequently with the goal of demanding a ransom or gaining power over the victim for different purposes.

The major ingredients of kidnapping are as follows:

  • Kidnapping is defined as the intentional and purposeful taking of a person against their will.
  • The victim must be imprisoned, detained, or transferred against their will using fraud, coercion, or force.
  • In cases of kidnapping, the victim’s consent is either not given at all or is given under duress.

Abduction IPC Section: About

The IPC expressly addresses the offense of abduction under Section 362. Kidnapping is the act of taking a person against their will from the legal care they are in, whereas the primary purpose of abduction tends to be to harm or extort a ransom.

The major ingredients of abduction are as follows:

  • Abduction is defined as removing someone from their legal guardianship or coercing them to do so.
  • The victim must be incapable of giving informed permission, or under the legal age of consent. Abduction occurs even when the victim is of legal age and is taken away against their will.
  • The individual must be under a parent, guardian, or other legal guardian.

Kidnapping and Abduction Difference

The discussions indicate that underneath the Indian Penal Code, kidnapping and abduction difference area as follows:

The IPC defines the crime of abduction under Sections 359–361.The IPC outlines the criminal act of abduction in Section 362.
It is only committed against a minor, meaning a sixteen-year-old boy or an eighteen-year-old girl, or against an insane person.It is done with consideration for everyone, regardless of age. There is no age limit for a person’s age.
The kidnapped individual is taken out of the legal guardianship.Guardianship has no bearing on whether or not an abduction occurred. It only makes mention of the abducted individual.
A kidnapping technique could not be harmful.Force, coercion, or deceptive tactics are the means used in abductions.
It doesn’t matter if the one being tempted gives consent.The individual’s consent is important; if someone is taken away with their free assent, the crime of abduction is deemed to have not been committed.
A person’s aim is irrelevant when it comes to kidnapping; regardless of their good intentions and legitimate motivation, they would still be held accountable under all circumstances.Determining the offense requires careful consideration of intent. As a result, someone would only be accountable if their actions were motivated by malice.
The offense is not ongoing. The offense is deemed to have actually been committed as soon as the minor is removed from their guardian’s supervision.It is an ongoing offense. The crime continues as long as the individual who has been abducted remains in one location.
Kidnapping from a guardian is a serious crime that has a u/s 363 IPC punishment.If abduction is not done with the specific aim stated in Sections 364-366, it is considered an accessory act and is not criminalized. Therefore, there must be a specific reason for punishing the accused.

Role of the Judiciary: Important Landmark Rulings on Kidnapping and Abduction IPC

  • In the Thakorlal D. Vadgama v State of Gujarat case, Thakori Lal was deemed liable for kidnapping under Section 363. By persuading Mohini to leave her father’s home and promising to provide for her, he abducted the young girl from under the legal custody of her father. In this case, the Supreme Court ruled that the accused cannot utilize the fact that his actions did not force her to flee her parents’ house right away as a defense to clear his name of kidnapping.
  • In the Kavita Chandrakant Lakhani v State of Maharashtra case, it was well-established that the mere abduction of a woman does not constitute an offense unless it can be demonstrated that the accused did so with the goal of forcing the woman into marriage or coercing or enticing her to engage in unlawful sexual relations with another individual.

Considering the gravity associated with kidnapping and abduction IPC, it is imperative to implement preventive measures and efficient response mechanisms. Strict legislation should be passed by governments in order to support survivors and their families and discourage potential offenders.

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