Section 359 to 374 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 provides for punishments for these offences.
Kidnapping means taking away a person against his/her will by force, threat or deceit. Usually, the purpose of kidnapping is to get a ransom, or for some political or other purposes etc. Kidnapping is classified into two categories in Section 359 of the Indian Penal Code and defined in Section 360 and 361 of the Indian Penal Code. Let’s understand these sections better.
As per Section 359 of the Indian Penal Code, Kidnapping is of two types:
- Kidnapping from India,
- Kidnapping from lawful guardianship.
These two types are explained in Section 360 and 361
Age of the Minor
Section 361 of the Indian Penal Code clearly states that minor is:
- A male under the age of 16 years,
- A female under the age of 18 years.
Punishment for Kidnapping
Section 363 of the Indian Penal Code lays down the punishment for both kinds of kidnapping (Kidnapping from India and Kidnapping from lawful guardianship).
The punishment prescribed in this section is :
- Imprisonment of either description which can extend up to seven years, and
Imprisonment of either term means either of the two imprisonments prescribed in the Indian Penal Code:
- Simple Imprisonment: This means that during the imprisonment, the prisoner is idle and is not required to do any hard labour.
- Rigorous Imprisonment: This means that during the imprisonment, the prisoner must engage in hard labour.
Section 362 of the Indian Penal Code defines abduction. It says 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.
Thus, Abduction is an offence in which a person is moved from one place, against his/her will by forceful compulsion or by use of deceitful means.
- By Force
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.
- Deceitful Means
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.
Kidnapping and abduction are dangerous acts which harm the freedom of a person. Section 359 to 369 go a long way in securing the liberty of people. They give protection 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. The number of abduction and kidnapping cases is enormous and is only increasing. There is a dire need to prevent these horrendous crimes and stop the culture of kidnapping and abduction from spreading, especially when it is done for marriages, forced sexual intercourses and forced begar etc. These children require safe release, medical, psychological and legal assistance as such acts take away the good days of childhood away from them as they are subjected to mental and physical torture.
To overcome these offences, not only do the states need to work together but also a co-task among nations need to be cultivated. Moreover, it is needed to be understood that a criminal would go around the laws, and indulge in these acts. What is required to prevent these offences is hand in hand working of non-governmental organisations and government bodies, and more sensitisation.