Penalties of Abduction: Understand Section 366 IPC

by  Adv. Rupa K.N  

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Section 366

Introduction

Marriage is when a free man and a free woman mutually agree to live together for their joint lives in the union that should exist between husband and wife under a contract signed in accordance with the law. 

Consent in marriage should be free, and there should be no force or threat behind it; forcing someone to marry is a crime. Here we are going to discuss Section 366 of the Indian Penal Code, which talks about Kidnapping, abducting, or inducing a woman to compel her marriage, etc.

But first, we need to understand the difference between Kidnapping and Abduction to better understand Section 366.

What is Kidnapping?

It is only committed against a minor, defined as a boy under the age of 16, a girl under the age of 18, a person of unsound mind, or both. A person’s intent is irrelevant in cases of Kidnapping, meaning that regardless of whether or not they had a good reason, they would still be held accountable.

It is not a continuous infraction. As soon as the minor is taken out of their guardian’s care, the crime is finished.

IPC Chapter Chapter XVI Chapter XVI Chapter XVI
Section S. 366 S. 366 A S. 366 B
Offence Kidnapping, abducting or inducing woman to compel her marriage, etc. Procuration of minor girl Importation of girl from foreign country
Description Whoever kidnaps or abducts any woman with intent that she may be compelled, or knowing it to be likely that she will be compelled, to marry any person against her will, or in order that she may be forced or seduced to illicit intercourse, or knowing it to be likely that she will be forced or seduced to illicit intercourse, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine; And whoever, by means of criminal intimidation as defined in this Code or of abuse of authority or any other method of compulsion, induces any woman to go from any place with intent that she may be, or knowing that it is likely that she will be, forced or seduced to illicit intercourse with another person shall also be punishable as aforesaid. Whoever, by any means whatsoever, induces any minor girl under the age of eighteen years to go from any place or to do any act with intent that such girl may be, or knowing that it is likely that she will be, forced or seduced to illicit intercourse with another person shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine. Whoever imports into India from any country outside India or from the State of Jammu and Kashmir any girl under the age of twenty-one years with intent that she may be, or knowing it to be likely that she will be, forced or seduced to illicit intercourse with another person, shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.
Punishment 10 Years + Fine 10 Years + Fine 10 Years + Fine
Cognizance Cognizable Cognizable Cognizable
Bail Non-Bailable Non-Bailable Non-Bailable
Triable By Court of Session Court of Session Court of Session
Composition Offence is NOT listed under Compoundable Offences Offence is NOT listed under Compoundable Offences Offence is NOT listed under Compoundable Offences

People also read: 9 Laws for Women in India that Every Woman Should Know

Consult Legal Experts to Understand the Penalties of Abduction under Section 366 IPC

What is Abduction?

Abductions can be perpetrated against anyone, regardless of age. There are no restrictions on those of a certain age. Force, coercion, or dishonest tactics are used in Abductions. The intent is crucial to identifying the offence. Therefore, a person would only be responsible if malice was hidden behind the conduct. It’s a persistent offence.

What is Section 366 IPC?

Anyone who kidnaps or abducts a woman with the intention of forcing her to marry someone against her will, or knowing it is likely that she will be forced to marry someone against her will, or with the intent of forcing or seducing her to engage in illicit sexual activity, or knowing it is likely that she will be forced or seduced to engage in illicit sexual activity, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term that may extend to ten years, as well as being subject to a fine. Section 366 is a Non-bailable, Non-cognizable, and Non-compoundable offence.

What is a Non-bailable offence?

Non-bailable offences are those that are so terrible and heinous that bail is not a right. It is a privilege that may only be given at the discretion of the Court.

The Court may reject granting bail if the accused fails to perform the bail bond properly or if the crime committed by the accused is terrible enough to warrant the death sentence or life imprisonment as punishment.

What is a Non-compoundable offence?

Offences not included in the list under Section 320 of the CrPC are non-compoundable. A Non-Compoundable offence impacts both the private party and society. Typically, no compromise is allowed while committing a non-compoundable offence. Such an offence cannot be compounded, and the Court lacks the jurisdiction to do so. Following a thorough trial, the defendant is either found not guilty or guilty, depending on the facts given.

What is a Cognizable offence?

A crime is considered to be cognizable if a police officer can carry out punishment without a warrant and open an inquiry without the judge’s approval, in accordance with the original plan or any other legislation in effect at the time.

People Also Read: IPC 323 in Hindi

Stay informed about the penalties of abduction under Section 366 IPC and safeguard your loved ones

Points to remember in Section 366 IPC

  • Section 366 is not necessary for simple Kidnapping. It only goes into effect when a woman is kidnapped or taken into custody with the intention of forcing her into an unlawful marriage or seducing her into having illicit relations. If such a purpose was not there when the accused seduced the girl, then even a subsequent act of intercourse with the kidnapped or abducted female cannot bring the case within the ambit of Section 366.
  • Seduction in this section refers to both recurring unlawful sexual encounters as well as luring someone into engaging in sexual activity for the first time. The fundamental element of seduction is disregarded in the case of a woman who regularly practises the profession of a prostitute. As a result, the offence under Section 366 cannot be committed in relation to such a woman.

What are the Ingredients of Section 366 IPC?

1) Taking any lady hostage or Kidnapping.

2) Such Kidnapping or Abduction must be done with one of the following intentions:  to force the lady to marry someone against her will, or to force or entice her into illegal sexual activity, or knowing that she may be coerced or persuaded into unlawful sexual activity.

3) By coercing any woman to leave any location with the knowledge that she will likely be coerced or enticed into having unlawful sexual relations with someone, whether via criminal intimidation, abuse of authority, or coercion.

People Also Read: Which IPC is also known as Extortion IPC?

Case Laws

  • State of Karnataka v. Sureshbabupuk Raj Porra

The requirements of Section 366 will not apply where a girl whose age (minor or major) cannot be ascertained and who is dubious leaves her family home freely to go with the accused without any provocation or allurement on his behalf to get married.

  • Bhagwati Prasad v. Emperor

In this incident, the victim was taken from the care of her legal guardian and given to another person so that she could be sold and the revenues of the sale could be split between them. The first accused is guilty under Section 366, the Court said, even though the victim was not married nor the subject of illegal relations. 

  • Abdul v. Emperor

This case established that the accused must take the girl with him in order to win over the section. The Court determined that the perpetrator was not guilty under Section 366 in this case because he had sex with the victim in a field close to her house without intending to take the girl with him.

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Learn about the penalties and legal consequences of abduction under Section 366 IPC for a safer and law-abiding society

Conclusion

The offence under Section 366 is punishable by a court of session and is cognizable, non-bailable, and non-compoundable. One of the several gender-specific provisions of the Indian Penal Code, Section 366, works to better safeguard women by designating a number of actions as crimes that are punished by law. Any woman in such a case should take a proper legal consultation online.

Kidnapping, abducting or inducing a woman to compel her marriage, etc. is a Non- bailable and cognizable offence. To know more, get Legal consultation.

Adv. Rupa K.N

Adv. Rupa K.N

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Advocate Rupa K.N, with over 24 years of independent practice, specialises in providing legal expertise, advice and guidance to a broad range of customers. Having been practising law independently for several years after doing her B.A. LLB from Bangalore University and PGDM from the National Institute of Personnel Management.

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