Kidnapping and Abduction: Section 359 to 374 under IPC


Kidnapping, the common name for the common law offence of carrying away, or secreting, of any person against his will, or against the will of his lawful guardian. Kidnapping is classified into two kinds in Section 359 of the Indian Penal Code and defined in Section 360 and 361 of the Indian Penal Code.

As per Section 359 of the Indian Penal Code, Kidnapping is of two kinds:

  1. Kidnapping from India,
  2. Kidnapping from lawful guardianship.

Kidnapping from India

According to section 360, if any person takes a person beyond the limits of India without the consent of that person or of some person legally authorised to consent on behalf of that person, is said to kidnap that person from India.

Illustration:  Ramesh take Suresh from India to China, without his consent .This is a case of Kidnapping from India.

Kidnapping of Lawful Guardian

According to section 361, if person take or entices any minor under 16  years of age if a male, or under 18 years of age if a female, any person of unsound mind,  out of keeping of the lawful guardian of such minor or person of unsound mind, without the consent of such guardian, is said to kidnap such person from lawful guardianship.

IllustrationAman is a boy who is 12 years old and under the legal guardianship of this father. Abhay, the neighbour takes Aman to the park from the outskirts of the city without the consent of Aman’s father.

There are two exception to Section 361 that is

“This section does not extent to the act of any person,

  • who is good faith believe himself to be the father of an illegitimate child, or
  • who in good faith believes himself to be entitled to the lawful custody of such child unless such act is committed for an immoral or unlawful purposed”.

Section 363 Punishment for kidnapping:

Whoever kidnaps any person from India or from lawful guardianship, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.


When person either by force compels a person or induces another person to go from any place is said to abduct such person. Section 362 merely define the word ‘abduction’. It is unlawful taking away a person by force or by fraud. Abduction by itself is not a offence. But abduction with certain intention or unlawful purpose is made punishable under section 364 to 369 .

Illustration : A tell B that he will serve him a sumptuous lunch and thus, induces B to go alongwith him to the restaurant and leaves B there without serving him a food. A commits no offence, since A’s intention was not unlawful and it does not fall under any of the Sections from 364 to 369.

Aggravated forms of kidnapping and abduction

Kidnapping or Abduction in order to murder = Imprisonment for life, or rigorous Imprisonment  upto 10 years and fine (Sec 364)
  Kidnapping  or Abduction with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine a person                  = Imprisonment upto 7 years and fine (Sec 365)
  Kidnapping , Abduction or inducing women to compel her to marry any person or knowing that she may be forced to illicit intercourse       = Imprisonment upto 10 years and fine (Sec366)
  Kidnapping or Abduction in order to subject that person to grievous hurt, slavery or unnatural lust                                                    =Imprisonment upto 10 years and fine (Sec 367)    
  Wrongfully concealing or confining a    confining a kidnapping person                        = Imprisonment upto 7 years and fine (Sec 368)  
  Kidnapping or Abduction of a child under the age of 10 years with the intent to steal movable from the person of such child                            = Imprisonment upto 7 years and fine (Sec369)    

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