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Child Kidnap

Section 359 to 369 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 deal with the offences of Kidnapping and Abduction. Kidnapping means 'child stealing' or taking away a girl below the age of 16 years or a boy below the age of 18 years from the lawful custody of his/her parent or guardian. However, kidnapping is not confined to child stealing, but extends to all. Section 359 to 361 deals with kidnapping.


The term 'Kidnapping' literally means, "carrying away a person against his/her will or against the will of the guardian in case of a minor".

The term 'Kidnapping' is derived from the word 'kid' which means child, and 'nap' which means, 'to steal'. The word 'kidnapping' means 'child stealing'. However, it is not confined or restricted to child stealing. It extends to all.


According to Sec.359, kidnapping is of two types viz.

1. Kidnapping from India (Sec.360) and
2. Kidnapping from lawful guardianship (Sec.361).


It means carrying away a person (conveying a person) beyond the territorial limits of India against its consent. It is an offence under Sec.360, if a boy below the age of 16 years and a girl below the age of 18 years is conveyed beyond the limits of India even with his/her consent.


According to Sec.361 I.P.C. enticing or taking away of a minor girl below 18 years of age, or a minor male below 16 years of age or any person of unsound mind from the lawful custody without any consent of such guardian, is called 'Kidnapping'.

There is an exception to this Section, which provides that this Section does not extend to the act any person who in good faith believes himself to be the father of an illegitimate son 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 purpose.


To constitute the offence of kidnapping under Sec.361, the following ingredients are to be satisfied :

1. Enticing or taking away of a minor male below 16 years or female below 18 years or a person of unsound mind.
2. Taking away or enticing must be from the lawful guardianship.
3. Without the consent of the lawful guardian.


Section 363 prescribes punishment for kidnapping. Whoever kidnaps any person from India or from lawful guardianship shall be punished with imprisonment up to 7 years and also liable for line.

Statement of Kidnap cases reported: