Section 364-A of the Indian Penal Code defines the offence of kidnapping for ransom. The offence comprises three stages or components, which are: (i) the person concerned kidnaps or abducts or detains the victim; (ii) threatens to cause death or hurt, or actually causes apprehension or hurt or death; and (iii) commits the offence to coerce the concerned person or someone else to do or not do something or to pay ransom. The Law Commission had proposed the section to cover ransom situations that embody the above-mentioned components, which are different from extortion.

It is crucial to prove that the accused committed the offence with the intent to compel the government, foreign state, international organization, or any other person to act or refrain from acting or pay ransom. The section uses the word “and” to link the first and second conditions and “or” to join subsequent clauses. The conjunction “and” is significant, and both words have distinct purposes and objects.

The conviction of the appellants is unsustainable under Section 364A of the IPC.Both the mandatory condidions under section 364A are not met.

By aor.sanjivnarang@gmail.com

Sanjiv Narang Adv. is an Advocate on Record in the Supreme Court of India. His qualifications include an LLB from University of Delhi and a Masters degree in Personnel Management from Panjab University,Chandigarh.In his more than 3 decades of experience, he has practiced law at the District, High Court and Supreme Court levels.He also has more than a decade of experience in the field of Management. He is the author of two books namely Laws for Women in India and Innovation, Why What and How.