Difference Between Kidnapping and Abduction.


            AUTHOR’S NAME – Shiwani Kumari, BBA.LLB, Third Year.

INSTITUTE NAME – Laxmi Narain College of Technology (LNCT) Bhopal.




The term kidnapping can be said as monstrous crime. When a person takes any person from one place to another without his/her consent or will it will result as kidnapping whereas on the other hand when it comes to the term abduction, we are not so aware with the term or have less knowledge about it. Many of us thinks that kidnapping and abduction are similar but when we will go through this term separately than we will come to the conclusion that each term has different meaning. Abduction takes place when a person by any mendacious or false means causes any act. There are many punishments which are being given for committing kidnapping and abduction but unfortunately these crimes are very high.[i] There are several reasons for which people commit these crimes. Many people take advantage of young age kids to abduct then or to kidnap then from there legal guardian. Section 359-369 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) provides punishment for the offence of kidnapping and abduction. Punishment of these offences can be given after going through nature and gravity of the act. Let’s briefly understand the difference between the term kidnapping and abduction to have a better knowledge of the term we should firstly need to go through the term separately.



When we will go through the word kidnapping, we will come to the conclusion that it is consist of two term kid which refers to child and napping which refers to steal. When be combine the term child and steal it will refer to child or kid stealing. When a person takes a child away from guardian without seeking permission from kids’ guardian will result as a offence of kidnapping. There are various reasons or purpose for which kidnapping can be done kidnapping can be done to take ransom from kid’s guardian or can have various other reason also. Under Section 359 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) kidnapping are being classified into two Categories[ii]

  1. Kidnapping from India
  2. Kidnapping from lawful guardianship



When we look after Section 360 of Indian Penal Code it explains that, if any person takes any person beyond the limits of India against the consent of that person who is legally entitled to give consent on that person behalf, then the offence of kidnapping from India is committed.



Suppose person ‘C’ is a man who lives in Mumbai another person named ‘D’ took ‘C’ to Nepal without his consent here we can say that ‘D’ committed the offence of kidnapping ‘C’ from territory of India.



Let’s look after Section 361 of Indian penal Code (IPC). These section explains if a person takes away or entices a minor (a boy under age 16 year and a girl under age of 18 year) or a person of unsound mind, away from his/her lawful guardian without guardians consent, then that person commits the offence of kidnapping from lawful guardianship[iii] There are some elements which must involve for kidnapping from lawful guardianship. If any of the element will not be fulfil it can’t be treated as kidnapping from lawful guardianship.

The elements are as follows:

  • person should be minor or of unsound mind
  • Must take away from lawful guardian without consent.

If these above elements are being fulfilled than it can be said as kidnapping from lawful guardianship. Illustration: Rohan is a boy of age 12 year who lives with his mother who is his lawful guardian. Suresh convinces him to come out from his house without seeking consent of his mother. Here Suresh has committed ab offence under section 361 of Indian Penal Code (IPC).

  • Punishment for kidnapping

Section 363 of Indian penal Code (IPC):

provides punishment for kidnapping, it states that anyone who kidnaps any person shall be punished with imprisonment for a term of seven years and a fine. Punishment for kidnapping under IPC depends on the nature and gravity of the offence


Thakorlal D. Vadgama v. State of Gujarat (1973)

Facts- Thakori Lal was the accused who was held liable for kidnapping under Section 363. He kidnapped a minor girl from the lawful guardianship of her father by inducing her to leave her father’s place & motivating her that he would shelter her.

Judgment- The Supreme Court held that “mere circumstances that his action does not cause her to leave her parental home immediately will not be a defence for the accused to settle his offence of kidnapping”.[iv]



Abduction under IPC refers taking away any person by using deceitful tricks for the purpose of perpetuating some offence. There are some elements that must be fulfil for committing the offence of abduction. The elements are as follows:

  1. By force – when a person is forced to go from one place to another without his or her consent
  2. Deceitful means – As per section 362 misleading any person to do something that he or she would not normally do.

Section 362 of the Indian Penal code (IPC) states that if any person compels another person to go from one place to another or induces any person to go from one place to another, then in that case we can say that such person has committed abduction.[v] We can say that the offence of abduction involves a person being moved from one place to another forcibly against his own will and without consent


After going through all the facts and points we can have a better knowledge about the difference between kidnapping and abduction.These offences have very bad effect upon the society. The person who commits such offence must go through disturbing experience. We should take action against such offence to maintain peace and dignity in society. Kidnapping is always considered a crime, while abduction may be legally justifiable in certain circumstances. It is important to understand the differences between these two terms to ensure that appropriate legal action is taken in cases of unlawful detainment or confinement.

[i] hindlawedu, https://hindlawedu.com/indian-penal-code/kidnaping-and-abduction-under-ipc/, (last visited Mar. 01, 2024).

[ii] The Indian Penal Code, 1860,359, No. 45., Acts of Parliament, 1860 (India).

[iii] The Indian Penal Code, 1860,360, No. 45., Acts of Parliament, 1860 (India).

[iv] Thakorlal D. Vadgama v. State of Gujarat (1973)

[v] The Indian Penal Code, 1860,361, No. 45., Acts of Parliament, 1860 (India).

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *