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May 11, 2024

Section 359 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) – Kidnapping

Section 359 of the IPC defines the offense of kidnapping. It essentially means taking or enticing a person away from a lawful place or guardian against their will.

Key Points:

  • There are two types of kidnapping under Section 359:
    • Kidnapping from India: Taking a person away from India without their consent (elaborated in Section 360 of the IPC).
    • Kidnapping from lawful guardianship: Taking a minor or someone entrusted to your care away from their lawful guardian (elaborated in Section 361 of the IPC).


  • Kidnapping from Lawful Guardianship:
    • Abducting a child from their parents’ home.
    • Luring a teenager away from school with the promise of an adventure.
    • Taking an elderly person from a nursing home against their will.

Kidnapping from India (Section 360):

  • Forcibly taking someone out of the country.
  • Drugging someone and transporting them across the border.

Distinction from Wrongful Confinement (Section 340):

  • Kidnapping often involves taking someone away from a place, while wrongful confinement restricts their movement within a location.
  • Kidnapping typically has a further motive, like ransom or exploitation, while wrongful confinement might be standalone.

Related Case Law Example:

  • State of Maharashtra vs. Mohan Shyamrao Chougule & Ors (2014): This case involved the kidnapping of a minor girl. The Supreme Court of India emphasized the importance of proving the element of taking or enticing a person away from their lawful guardian and highlighted the seriousness of the offense.


The punishment for kidnapping varies depending on the specific section under which it is charged (Section 361, 362, etc.) and can range from rigorous imprisonment for several years to life imprisonment, with or without a fine.


Section 361 – Kidnapping from Lawful Guardianship:

  • This section elaborates on one type of kidnapping mentioned in Section 359.
  • It states that whoever takes or entices a minor (under 16 years) or a person of unsound mind away from their lawful guardian without their consent commits kidnapping from lawful guardianship.

Key Points:

  • Focuses on vulnerable victims: Protects children and those who cannot make informed decisions due to mental incapacity.
  • “Takes or entices”: Covers both forceful abduction and luring someone away with promises or deception.

Section 362 – Abduction:

  • This section defines abduction as whoever by force compels or by any deceitful means induces any person to go from any place where he/she is lawfully to any other place.
  • Key Differences from Section 361:
    • No requirement for a lawful guardian: Applies to any person, not just minors or those of unsound mind.
    • Focus on movement: Doesn’t require taking someone away permanently, just forcing or tricking them into going somewhere.

Section 363 – Punishment for Kidnapping:

  • This section outlines the punishment for kidnapping offenses under Sections 360 (Kidnapping from India), 361 (Kidnapping from Lawful Guardianship), 364 (Kidnapping for Ransom), etc.
  • The punishment varies depending on the specific section and the severity of the offense. It can range from rigorous imprisonment for several years to life imprisonment, with or without a fine.

Additional Sections:

  • Section 364 – Kidnapping or Abduction for Ransom: Deals with kidnapping with the intent to demand ransom.
  • Section 366 – Kidnapping, Abduction or Inducing Woman to Compel Her Marriage, etc.: Focuses on kidnapping or abduction of a woman for marriage or illicit intercourse.
  • Section 367 – Kidnapping or Abduction for Slavery: Criminalizes kidnapping with the intention of putting someone into slavery.

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