Stealing a minor’s innocence by abducting her forcibly from her home: Patna High Court.

Section 363 of the Indian Penal Code which is a central government Act deals with kidnapping which is a non-bailable offence. Section 366 (A) of the Indian Penal Code states that “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.” The punishment for the same is imprisonment extending up to 10 years along with a fine. Section 372 of the Indian Penal Code says that, “Whoever sells, lets to hire, or otherwise disposes a person under the age of eighteen years with intent that such person shall at any age be employed or used for the purpose of prostitution or illicit intercourse with any person or for any unlawful and immoral purpose, or knowing it to be likely that such person will at any age be shall be punished.” The punishment for this section includes imprisonment up to 10 years along with fine. A single bench comprising of Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah adjudicating in the matter of Jai Kishore Kumar & ors v The State of Bihar (CRIMINAL MISCELLANEOUS No. 35482 of 2020) dealt with an issue in connection with Section 363, 366(A) and 373 of the Indian Penal Code.

Mr. Pushpendra Kumar Singh represented the petitioners and Mr. Pramod Kumar Pandey referred to as APP (Additional Public Prosecutor) represented the State. This case was in connection with the arrest in the Sitamarhi PS Case No. 142 of 2020 dated 29.02.2020. Satyam Kumar was in relationship with the minor and they were in love. He even used to visit the house of the informant, to which no objections were raised.  The petitioners were alleged that they were party to the process of abduction of the grand daughter of the informant who was a minor. They alleged that she was abducted for the purposes of either killing her or for immoral trafficking.

To this, the petitioners representator submitted the fact that Petitioner number 1 (Jai Kishore Kumar) who is the husband of the sister of Satyam Kumar and Petitioner number 2 (Mausam Devi) is the sister of Satyam Kumar and that they have no role in the affair of Satyam Kumar and since the allegation was against Satyam Kumar. The learned counsel submitted that there was no criminal antecedent as they had no concern with the affairs of Satyam Kumar.

The APP in response stated that when the girl was recovered, her statement under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 was recorded before the court, in which she clealy stated that the petitioners were a party to her abduction. She was with force taken far away from her house. The reasoning given was that abducting someone with such force would require the support of family and hence, they had a role to play in the process of abduction of the minor girl.

In view of the submission against the petitioners by the APP the court refused to grant a pre-arrest bail for the petitioners and dismissed the application. However, the court also stated that the pray for bail will be considered on its own merits, ie. in accordance with the law without prejudice from the present order.

Read the judgment here.

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