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What elements constitute under section 346 A of IPC that the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt to secure an accused conviction: Telangana High Court

 In one of the judgments by the high court of Telangana in case of Shaik Ahmed Vs State Of Telangana through the learned bench led by Justice Ashok Bhushan. The court answered the question as to what are the essential elements Of sec 364A  that the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt to secure an accused conviction under the section and does the failure to meet with any of the conditions invalidate the conviction under the IPC.

Facts of the case:- Prateek Gupta (victim), a 6th standard student went to a picnic organized by the school. After returning he waited for the auto as usual but the auto didn’t turn up. Due to this, the boy took another auto which was driven by the accused who took the boy to an unknown place and demanded a ransom of 2 lakhs. Later the accused was arrested and a charge sheet under section 364A was filed against him. Learned Sessions Judge after, considering the evidence held that the accused was liable for the offense under Section 364A IPC.  The appellant filed an appeal before the Andhra Pradesh High Court. The HC came to the conclusion that the prosecution proved the guilt of the accused beyond all reasonable doubt

Learned counsel argued that the respondent failed to prove all ingredients for conviction as stated in sec 364A, hence, the conviction was not sustainable. No evidence or conduct gave rise to a reasonable apprehension that the accused intended to hurt or kill the victim. Also, evidence to contrary showed that the boy was treated well. Therefore, the question arises of what are the essential elements that shall be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

Judgment:-  The court interpreted the section coming to the conclusion that the essential element to convict the accused is first that the person shall be Kidnapping or abduction or detained and there exist a reasonable apprehension that such person may be put to death or hurt, such threat shall be coupled with the demand to ransom asked to either any person or Government or any foreign State or any Governmental organization, also if demand is not met, will lead to causing death. The High Court was of the opinion that no reasonable apprehension that the victim may be put to death or hurt, the second condition was not fulfilled. Therefore, the conviction was set aside, convicting the accused under sec 363 of IPC. The court modified the judgment of the Sessions Judge and High Court and sentenced the appellant to seven years, of imprisonment and fine.

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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY MANAL NASEEM

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