Shaik Ahmed vs State Of Telangana on 28 June, 2021


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Supreme Court of India

Shaik Ahmed vs State Of Telangana on 28 June, 2021

Author: Ashok Bhushan

Bench: Ashok Bhushan, Vineet Saran, M.R. Shah

                                                                                REPORTABLE
                                 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                                CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                               CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.533 OF 2021
                      (@ Special Leave Petition (Crl.) No.308 of 2021)


         SHAIK AHMED                                                    ...APPELLANT(S)

                                                 VERSUS

         STATE OF TELANGANA                                           ...RESPONDENT(S)


                                           J U D G M E N T

ASHOK BHUSHAN,J.

Leave granted.

2. This appeal has been filed by the accused

challenging the judgment of the High Court dated

06.08.2019 by which Criminal Appeal No. 1121 of 2012

filed by the appellant questioning his conviction and

sentence under Section 364A IPC has been dismissed.

3. The prosecution case in brief is :-

3.1 The victim, PW-2 Prateek Gupta, was a

Signature Not Verified student in VIth standard in St. Mary’s High
Digitally signed by
ASHA SUNDRIYAL
Date: 2021.06.28

School, Rezimental Banzar, Secunderabad,
16:35:04 IST
Reason:

Hyderabad. On 03.02.2011, PW-2 went to a

1
picnic organised by the school and returned

to school at around 3:00 pm. Usually, PW-2

would wait for a regular (fixed) auto to

drop him home from school but unfortunately

on the said date, the same did not turn up.

3.2 PW-2 waited till about 4.00 pm and

thereafter PW-2 phoned his father (PW-1)

from the cell phone of his school teacher

(PW-3). PW-1 instructed PW-2 to take

another auto to go home. PW-1 engaged the

services of an auto driven by the accused

(appellant herein) to take him home and

boarded the auto.

3.3 Thereafter, the accused took him from an

unknown route by informing PW-2 it is a

short cut and took him to some unknown

place by promising that he would call PW-1

and ascertain the correct address, after

which he would drop PW-2 at home. It is

alleged that the accused took PW-2 to the

2
house of his sister, PW-6, and told PW-2

that he would drop him at his home in the

morning of the next day. Thereafter, the

accused allegedly called PW-1 stating that

he had PW-2 in his custody and demanded a

ransom of Rs.2 lakhs to release PW-2.

3.4 On the same day at about 8.30 pm the

accused again called PW-1 and reiterated

his demand for release of PW-2. PW-1

conveyed his inability to pay the ransom

amount, subsequent to which the accused

demanded a sum of Rs. 1.50 lakhs for the

release of PW-2. PW-1 after receiving the

phone call went to the police station and

lodged report, which was marked as Ex.P-1.

The same was received and a case being CV

No. 37/2011 u/s 364S of IPC was registered

and handed over for further investigation.

3.5 As per the prosecution, at about 6:00 am

the Accused along with PW-2 left to

3
Borabanda from his sister’s house in an

Auto and while travelling called PW-1 from

the phone of the auto driver (PW-5) to

enquire about the status of the ransom

money. PW-1 was instructed to come to

Pillar No 99, P.V. Narsimha Rao Expressway

on foot and raise his hand for

identification. When PW-1 reached the

location, he found the accused present at

the spot and raised his hand. When PW-1

was trying to handover the ransom to the

accused, the police who were in mufti

surrounded the accused and took him into

custody. The police seized 2 cell phones,

ID cards and Rs.200/- (Rupees Two Hundred

Only) from the accused.

3.6 The police found the victim seated in an

auto a short distance away, who was taken

to the police station and statement under

Section 161, Cr.P.C. of the victim (PW-2)

was recorded at P.S. Gopalapuram. After

4
investigation, charge sheet was filed

against the appellant under Section 364A

IPC. Charge was framed by the Additional

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Secunderabad

against the accused under Section 364A IPC.

After appearance of the accused, learned

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate

committed the case to the learned Sessions

Judge. Prosecution examined eight

witnesses, the father of the victim and

defacto complainant, Sanjay Gupta was

examined as PW-1. Prateek Gupta, the

victim was examined as PW-2. Kumari Sujata

Rani, the school teacher was examined as

PW-3, who proved that from her cell phone,

the victim had spoken to his father, who

informed the victim to come by taking

another auto. PW-4, Krishna Yadav and PW-

7 were examined as Panch witnesses. PW-5

was examined as auto driver, who, on asking

of accused took the accused and victim to

Pillar No.78 of P.V.N.H. PW-8, the Sub-

5
inspector of police, K. Ramesh, who was

I.O. PW6 was another witness. Prosecution

marked Exh.P1 to P4 and M.O.1 to 3.

3.7 After recording evidence of prosecution,

the accused was examined under Section 313

Cr.P.C. On behalf of defence Exh. D1 and D2

were marked.

3.8 Learned Sessions Judge after considering the

evidence led by witnesses held that accused

kidnapped PW-2 and telephoned to PW-1

demanding Rs.2 lakhs for release of PW-2.

The learned Sessions Judge held that

prosecution clearly established the guilt

of the accused for the offence under

Section 364A IPC. After recording

conviction, he was sentenced to undergo

life imprisonment for offence under Section

364A IPC and also liable to pay fine of

Rs.5,000/- by judgment dated 01.11.2012.

6
3.9 The appellant filed an appeal before the

High Court. The appeal has been dismissed

by the High Court by the impugned judgment

dated 06.08.2019. The High Court held that

PW-2 was kidnapped by the accused and

ransom of Rs.2 lakhs was demanded from

PW-1. When the appellant-accused came to

collect the ransom amount demanded, he was

apprehended by the police. High Court held

that prosecution clinchingly proved the

guilt of the accused beyond all reasonable

doubt for the offence punishable under

Section 364A of IPC. The appeal was

accordingly dismissed.

4. Learned counsel for the appellant submitted that

the prosecution failed to prove all ingredients for

conviction under Section 364A, hence the conviction

under Section 364A is not sustainable. Learned

counsel submits that there was neither any evidence

nor any findings returned by the Courts below that

any threat was extended by the accused to cause death

7
or hurt to the victim nor his conduct gave rise to

reasonable apprehension that such person may be put

to death or hurt. He submits that neither the

learned Sessions Judge nor the High Court adverted to

the above essential conditions for conviction under

Section 364A, hence the judgment of the Courts below

deserves to be set aside.

5. Learned counsel for the appellant referring to

the statement of PW-2, the victim submits that victim

himself in his statement has stated that he was

treated in a good manner. PW-1 in his statement has

also not alleged that any threat was extended to

cause death or hurt to the victim.

6. Learned counsel appearing for the State, Ms. Bina

Madhavan supported the judgments of learned Sessions

Judge as well as the High Court and took us to the

statements of PW-1, PW-2 and PW-8. She submits that

conviction under Section 364A of the accused does not

deserve any interference by this Court.

8

7. From the submissions made by the learned counsel

for the parties and materials on record, following

questions arise for consideration in this appeal:-

I. What are the essential ingredients of Section

346A to be proved beyond reasonable doubt by

the prosecution for securing the conviction

of an accused under Section 364A IPC?

II. Whether each and every ingredient as

mentioned under Section 364A needs to be

proved for securing conviction under Section

364A and non-establishment of any of the

conditions may vitiate the conviction under

Section 364A IPC?

III. Whether the learned Sessions Judge as well as

the High Court recorded any finding that all

ingredients of Section 364A were proved by

the prosecution?

IV. Whether there was any evidence or findings by

the Courts below that the accused had

threatened to cause death or hurt to the

9
victim or by his conduct gave rise to a

reasonable apprehension that victim may be

put to death or hurt?

8. The appeal having arisen out of order of

conviction under Section 364A, we need to notice the

provisions of Section 364A IPC before proceeding

further to consider the points for consideration.

9. Sections 359 to 374 of the Indian Penal Code are

contained in the heading “of Kidnapping, Abduction,

Slavery and Forced Labour”. Offence of Kidnapping

for lawful guardianship is defined under Section 361

and Section 363 provides for punishment for

kidnapping. Section 364 deals with kidnapping or

abduction in order to murder.

10. The Law Commission of India took up the revision

of Indian Penal Code and submitted its report, i.e.,

42nd Report (June, 1971). In Chapter 16, offences

affecting the human body was dealt with. The chapter

on kidnapping and abduction was dealt by the

10
Commission in paragraphs 16.91 to 16.112. Section

364 and 364A was dealt by the Commission in

paragraphs 16.99 to 16.100 which are as follows:-

“16.99. Section 364 punishes the
offence of kidnapping or abduction of a
person in order to murder him, the maximum
punishment being imprisonment for life or
for ten years. In view of our general
recommendation as to imprisonment for
life, we propose that life imprisonment
should be omitted and term imprisonment
increased to 14 years.

The illustrations to the section do
not elucidate any particular ingredient of
the offence and should be omitted.

16.100. We consider it desirable to
have a specific section to punish severely
kidnapping or abduction for ransom, as
such cases are increasing. At present,
such kidnapping or abduction is punishable
under section 365 since the kidnapped or
abducted person will be secretly and
wrongfully confined.

We also considered the question
whether a provision for reduced punishment
in case of release of the person kidnapped
without harm should be inserted, but we
have come to the conclusion that there is
no need for it. We propose the following
section:-

“364A. Kidnapping or abduction
for ransom .—Whoever kidnaps or
abducts any person with intent to
hold that person for ransom shall
be punished with rigorous

11
imprisonment for a term which may
extend to 14 years, and shall
also be liable to fine.”

11. Although the Law Commission has in paragraph

16.100 proposed Section 364A, which only stated that

whoever kidnaps or abducts any person with intent to

hold that person for ransom be punished for a term

which may extend to 14 years. Parliament while

inserting Section 364A by Act No.42 of 1993 enacted

the provision in a broader manner also to include

kidnapping and abduction to compel the Government to

do or abstain from doing any act or to pay a ransom

which was further amended and amplified by Act No.24

of 1995. Section 364A as it exists after amendment

is as follows:-

“364A. Kidnapping for ransom, etc.—Whoever
kidnaps or abducts any person or keeps a
person in detention after such kidnapping
or abduction and threatens to cause death
or hurt to such person, or by his conduct
gives rise to a reasonable apprehension
that such person may be put to death or
hurt, or causes hurt or death to such
person in order to compel the Government
or any foreign State or international
inter-governmental organisation or any
other person to do or abstain from doing
any act or to pay a ransom, shall be

12
punishable with death, or imprisonment for
life, and shall also be liable to fine.”

12. We may now look into section 364A to find out as

to what ingredients the Section itself contemplate

for the offence. When we paraphrase Section 364A

following is deciphered:-

(i) “Whoever kidnaps or abducts any person or
keeps a person in detention after such
kidnapping or abduction”

(ii) “and threatens to cause death or hurt to
such person, or by his conduct gives rise
to a reasonable apprehension that such
person may be put to death or hurt,

(iii) or causes hurt or death to such person in
order to compel the Government or any
foreign State or international inter-
governmental organisation or any other
person to do or abstain from doing any act
or to pay a ransom”

(iv) “shall be punishable with death, or
imprisonment for life, and shall also be
liable to fine.”

13. The first essential condition as incorporated in

Section 364A is “whoever kidnaps or abducts any

person or keeps a person in detention after such

kidnapping or abduction”. The second condition

begins with conjunction “and”. The second condition

13
has also two parts, i.e., (a) threatens to cause

death or hurt to such person or (b) by his conduct

gives rise to a reasonable apprehension that such

person may be put to death or hurt. Either part of

above condition, if fulfilled, shall fulfill the

second condition for offence. The third condition

begins with the word “or”, i.e., or causes hurt or

death to such person in order to compel the

Government or any foreign State or international

inter-governmental organisation or any other person

to do or abstain from doing any act or to pay a

ransom. Third condition begins with the word “or

causes hurt or death to such person in order to

compel the Government or any foreign state to do or

abstain from doing any act or to pay a ransom”.

Section 364A contains a heading “kidnapping for

ransom, etc.” The kidnapping by a person to demand

ransom is fully covered by Section 364A.

14. We have noticed that after the first condition

the second condition is joined by conjunction “and”,

thus, whoever kidnaps or abducts any person or keeps

14
a person in detention after such kidnapping or

abduction and threatens to cause death or hurt to

such person.

15. The use of conjunction “and” has its purpose and

object. Section 364A uses the word “or” nine times

and the whole section contains only one conjunction

“and”, which joins the first and second condition.

Thus, for covering an offence under Section 364A,

apart from fulfillment of first condition, the second

condition, i.e., “and threatens to cause death or

hurt to such person” also needs to be proved in case

the case is not covered by subsequent clauses joined

by “or”.

16. The word “and” is used as conjunction. The use

of word “or” is clearly distinctive. Both the words

have been used for different purpose and object.

Crawford on Interpretation of Law while dealing with

the subject “disjunctive” and “conjunctive” words

with regard to criminal statute made following

statement:-

15
“……………………..The Court should be extremely
reluctant in a criminal statute to
substitute disjunctive words for
cojunctive words, and vice versa, if such
action adversely affects the accused.”

17. We may also notice certain judgments of this

court where conjunction “and” has been used. In

Punjab Produce and Trading Co. Ltd. Vs. The CIT, West

Bengal, Calcutta (1971) 2 SCC 540, this Court had

occasion to consider Section 23-A Explanation b(iii)

of Income Tax Act, 1922 which provision has been

extracted in paragraph 5 of the judgment which is to

the following effect:-

“Explanation. — For the purposes of this
section a company shall be deemed to be a
company in which the public are
substantially interested—

(a) If it is a company owned by the
Government or in which not less than forty
per cent of the shares are held by the
Government.

(b) If it is not a private company as
defined in the Indian Companies Act, 1913
(7 of 1913) and—

(i) its shares (not being shares
entitled to a fixed rate of
dividend, whether with or without
a further right to participate in
profits) carrying not less than
fifty per cent of the voting

16
power have been allotted
unconditionally to, or acquired
unconditionally by, and were
throughout the previous year
beneficially held by the public
(not including a company to which
the provisions of this section
apply):

Provided that in the case of any
such company as is referred to in
sub-section (4), this sub-clause
shall apply as if for the words
‘not less than fifty per cent’
the words ‘not less than forty
per cent’, had been substituted;

(ii) the said shares were at any
time during the previous year the
subject of dealing in any
recognised stock exchange in
India or were freely transferable
by the holder to other members of
the public; and

(iii) the affairs of the company
or the shares carrying more than
fifty per cent of the total
voting power were at no time
during the previous year
controlled or held by less than
six persons (persons who are
related to one another as
husband, wife, lineal ascendant
or descendant or brother or
sister, as the case may be, being
treated as a single person and
persons who are nominees of
another person together with that
other person being likewise
treated as a single person:

Provided that in the case of any
such company as is referred to in

17
sub-section (4), this clause
shall apply as if for the words
‘more than fifty per cent’, the
words ‘more than sixty per cent’,
had been substituted.”

18. This Court held following in paragraph 8:-

“8. ……………………The clear import of the
opening part of clause (b) with the word
“and” appearing there read with the
negative or disqualifying conditions in
sub-clause (b)(iii) is that the assessee
was bound to satisfy apart from the
conditions contained in the other sub-
clauses that its affairs were at no time
during the previous year controlled by
less than six persons and shares carrying
more than 50 per cent of the total voting
power were during the same period not held
by less than six persons……………………….”

19. In another judgment, Hyderabad Asbestos Cement

Products and Anr. Vs. Union of India, (2000) 1 SCC

426, this Court had occasion to consider Rule 56-A of

Central Excise Act, 1944. The Court dealt with

interpretation of conjunctive and disjunctive “and”,

“or”. Proviso to Rule 56-A also uses the conjunctive

word “and”. The Provision of the Rule as quoted in

paragraph 4 is as below:-

“56-A. Special procedure for movement of
duty-paid materials or component parts for

18
use in the manufacture of finished
excisable goods.—(1) Notwithstanding
anything contained in these rules, the
Central Government may, by notification in
the Official Gazette, specify the
excisable goods in respect of which the
procedure laid down in sub-rule (2) shall
apply.

(2) The Collector may, on application made
in this behalf and subject to the
conditions mentioned in sub-rule (3) and
such other conditions as may, from time to
time, be prescribed by the Central
Government, permit a manufacturer of any
excisable goods specified under sub-rule
(1) to receive material or component parts
or finished products (like asbestos
cement), on which the duty of excise or
the additional duty under Section 2-A of
the Indian Tariff Act, 1934 (32 of 1934),
(hereinafter referred to as the
countervailing duty), has been paid, in
his factory for the manufacture of these
goods or for the more convenient
distribution of finished product and allow
a credit of the duty already paid on such
material or component parts or finished
product, as the case may be:

Provided that no credit of duty shall
be allowed in respect of any material or
component parts used in the manufacture of
finished excisable goods—

(i) if such finished excisable
goods produced by the manufacturer
are exempt from the whole of the
duty of excise leviable thereon or
are chargeable to nil rate of duty,
and

(ii) unless—

19

(a) duty has been paid for such
material or component parts under
the same item or sub-item as the
finished excisable goods; or

(b) remission or adjustment of duty
paid for such material or component
parts has been specifically
sanctioned by the Central
Government:

Provided further that if the duty
paid on such material or component
parts (of which credit has been
allowed under this sub-rule) be
varied subsequently due to any
reason, resulting in payment of
refund to, or recovery of more duty
from, the manufacturer or importer,
as the case may be, of such
material or component parts, the
credit allowed shall be varied
accordingly by adjustment in the
credit account maintained under
sub-rule (3) or in the account-

current maintained under sub-rule
(3) or Rule 9 or Rule 178(1) or, if
such adjustment be not possible for
any reason, by cash recovery from
or, as the case may be, refund to
the manufacturer availing of the
procedure contained in this rule.”

20. This court held that when the provisos 1 & 2 are

separated by conjunctive word “and”, they have to be

read conjointly. The requirement of both the proviso

has to be satisfied to avail the benefit. Paragraph 8

is as follows:-

20
“8. The language of the rule is plain and
simple. It does not admit of any doubt in
interpretation. Provisos (i) and (ii) are
separated by the use of the conjunction
“and”. They have to be read conjointly.
The requirement of both the provisos has
to be satisfied to avail the benefit.
Clauses (a) and (b) of proviso (ii) are
separated by the use of an “or” and there
the availability of one of the two
alternatives would suffice. Inasmuch as
cement and asbestos fibre used by the
appellants in the manufacture of their
finished excisable goods are liable to
duty under different tariff items, the
benefit of pro forma credit extended by
Rule 56-A cannot be availed of by the
appellants and has been rightly denied by
the authorities of the Department.”

21. Thus, applying the above principle of

interpretation on condition Nos. 1 & 2 of Section

364A which is added with conjunction “and”, we are of

the view that condition No.2 has also to be fulfilled

before ingredients of Section 364A are found to be

established. Section 364A also indicates that in case

the condition “and threatens to cause death or hurt

to such person” is not proved, there are other

classes which begins with word “or”, those

conditions, if proved, the offence will be

established. The second condition, thus, as noted

21
above is divided in two parts- (a) and threatens to

cause death or hurt to such person or (b) by his

conduct gives rise to a reasonable apprehension that

such person may be put to death or hurt.

22. Now, we may look into few cases of this Court

where different ingredients of Section 364A came for

consideration. We may first notice the judgment of

this Court in Malleshi Vs. State of Karnataka, (2004)

8 SCC 95. The above was a case where kidnapping of a

major boy was made by the accused for ransom and

before this Court argument was raised that demand of

ransom has not been established. In the above case,

the Court referred to Section 364A and in paragraph

12 following was observed:-

“12. To attract the provisions of Section
364-A
what is required to be proved is:
(1) that the accused kidnapped or abducted
the person; (2) kept him under detention
after such kidnapping and abduction; and
(3) that the kidnapping or abduction was
for ransom. Strong reliance was placed on
a decision of the Delhi High Court
in Netra Pal v. State (NCT of Delhi) [2001
Cri LJ 1669 (Del)] to contend that since
the ransom demand was not conveyed to the
father of PW 2, the intention to demand
was not fulfilled.”

22

23. This court in paragraphs 13 to 15 dealt with

demand for ransom and held that demand originally was

made to person abducted and the mere fact that after

making the demand the same could not be conveyed to

some other person as the accused was arrested in

meantime does not take away the effect of conditions

of Section 364A. In the above case, this Court was

merely concerned with ransom, hence, other conditions

of Section 364A were not noticed.

24. The next judgment is Anil alias Raju Namdev Patil

Vs. Administration of Daman & Diu, Daman and Another,

(2006) 13 SCC 36. In the above case, this Court

noticed the ingredients for commission of offence

under Section 364 and 364A. Following was laid down

in paragraph 55:-

“55. ………………………for obtaining a conviction
for commission of an offence under Section
364-A
thereof it is necessary to prove
that not only such kidnapping or abetment
has taken place but thereafter the accused
threatened to cause death or hurt to such
person or by his conduct gives rise to a
reasonable apprehension that such person
may be put to death or hurt or causes hurt
or death to such person in order to compel

23
the Government or any foreign State or
international intergovernmental
organisation or any other person to do or
abstain from doing any act or to pay a
ransom.”

25. At this stage, we may also notice the judgment of

this Court in Suman Sood alias Kamaljeet Kaur Vs.

State of Rajasthan (2007) 5 SCC 634. In the above

case, Suman Sood and her husband Daya Singh Lahoria

were accused in the case of abduction. They were

tried for offence under Section 364A, 365, 343 read

with Section 120-B and 346 read with Section 120-B.

The trial court convicted the appellant for offence

under Sections 365 read with 120-B, 343 read with

120-B and 346 read with 120-B. She was, however,

acquitted for offence punishable under Section 364-A.

Her challenge against conviction and sentence for

offences punishable under Sections 365 read with 120-

B, 343 read with 120-B and 346 read with 120-B IPC

was negatived by the High Court. But her acquittal

for offences punishable under Sections 364-A read

with 120-B was set aside by the High Court in an

appeal and she was also convicted for the offence

24
under Section 364A and was sentenced to life

imprisonment. In the appeal filed by her challenging

her conviction under Section 364A, this Court dealt

with acquittal of Suman Sood under Section 364A by

trial Court. In Paragraph 64 this court noticed as

follows:-

“64. According to the trial court, the
prosecution had failed to prove charges
against Suman Sood for an offence
punishable under Sections 364-A or 364-A
read with 120-B IPC “beyond reasonable
doubt” inasmuch as no reliable evidence
had been placed on record from which it
could be said to have been established
that Suman Sood was also a part of
“pressurise tactics” or had terrorised the
victim or his family members to get
Devendra Pal Singh Bhullar released in
lieu of Rajendra Mirdha. The trial court,
therefore, held that she was entitled to
benefit of doubt.”

26. The findings of trial court that no reliable

evidence had been placed on record from which it

could be said to have been established that Suman

Sood was also a part of pressurise tactics or has

terrorized the victim or his family. This court

approved the acquittal of Suman Sood by trial court

and set aside the order of the High Court convicting

25
Suman Sood. In paragraph 71 following was held by

this Court:-

“71. On the facts and in the circumstances
in its entirety and considering the
evidence as a whole, it cannot be said
that by acquitting Suman Sood for offences
punishable under Sections 364-A read with
120-B IPC, the trial court had acted
illegally or unlawfully. The High Court,
therefore, ought not to have set aside the
finding of acquittal of accused Suman Sood
for an offence under Sections 364-A read
with 120-B IPC. To that extent, therefore,
the order of conviction and sentence
recorded by the High Court deserves to be
set aside.”

27. Thus, the trial court’s findings that there was

no evidence that Suman Sood was part of pressurize

tactics or terrorized the victim or his family

members, hence, due to non-fulfillment of the

condition as enumerated in Section 364A, the trial

court recorded the acquittal, which has been

confirmed by this Court. The above case clearly

establishes that unless all conditions as enumerated

in Section 364A are fulfilled, no conviction can be

recorded.

26

28. Now, we come to next judgment, i.e., Vishwanath

Gupta Vs. State of Uttaranchal (2007) 11 SCC 633. In

the above case, the victims were abducted from

district of Lucknow, State of U.P. demands for ransom

and threat was extended from another district, i.e.,

Nainital and the victim was done to death in another

district, i.e., Unnao in the State of U.P. This Court

had occasion to consider the ingredients of Section

364A and in paragraphs 8 and 9, the following was

laid down:-

“8. According to Section 364-A, whoever
kidnaps or abducts any person and keeps
him in detention and threatens to cause
death or hurt to such person and by his
conduct gives rise to a reasonable
apprehension that such person may be put
to death or hurt, and claims a ransom and
if death is caused then in that case the
accused can be punished with death or
imprisonment for life and also liable to
pay fine.

9. The important ingredient of Section
364-A
is the abduction or kidnapping, as
the case may be. Thereafter, a threat to
the kidnapped/abducted that if the demand
for ransom is not met then the victim is
likely to be put to death and in the event
death is caused, the offence of Section
364-A
is complete. There are three stages

27
in this section, one is the kidnapping or
abduction, second is threat of death
coupled with the demand of money and
lastly when the demand is not met, then
causing death. If the three ingredients
are available, that will constitute the
offence under Section 364-A of the Penal
Code. Any of the three ingredients can
take place at one place or at different
places. In the present case the demand of
the money with the threat perception had
been made at (Haldwani) Nainital. The
deceased were kidnapped at Lucknow and
they were put to death at Unnao.

Therefore, the first offence was committed
by the accused when they abducted Ravi
Varshney and Anoop Samant at Lucknow.
Therefore, Lucknow court could have
territorial jurisdiction to try the case.”

29. This Court in the above case, laid down that

there are three stages in the Section, one is

kidnapping or abduction, second is threat of death

coupled with demand of money and third when the

demand is not met, then causing death. The Court

held that if the three ingredients are available that

will constitute the offence under Section 364 of the

IPC. Dealing with Section 364A in context of above

case, following was laid down in paragraph 17:-

28
“17. ……………But here, in the case of Section
364-A
something more is there, that is,
that a person was abducted from Lucknow
and demand has been raised at Haldwani,
Nainital with threat. If the amount is not
paid to the abductor then the victim is
likely to be put to death. In order to
constitute an offence under Section 364-A,
all the ingredients have not taken place
at Lucknow or Unnao. The two incidents
took place in the State of Uttar Pradesh,
that is, abduction and death of the
victims but one of the ingredient took
place, that is, threat was given at the
house of the victims at Haldwani, Nainital
demanding the ransom money otherwise the
victim will be put to death. Therefore,
one of the ingredients has taken place
within the territorial jurisdiction of
Haldwani, Nainital. Therefore, it is a
case wherein the offence has taken place
at three places i.e. at Haldwani,
Nainital, where the threat to the life of
the victim was given and demand of money
was raised, the victim was abducted from
Lucknow and he was ultimately put to death
at Unnao. ………………….”

30. Next case which needs to be noticed is a Three

Judge Bench Judgment of this Court in Vikram Singh

alias Vicky and Anr. Vs. Union of India and Ors.,

(2015) 9 SCC 502. In the above case, this Court

elaborately considered the scope and purport of

Section 364A including the historical background.

After noticing the earlier cases, this Court laid

29
down that section 364A has three distinct components.

In Paragraph 25, following was laid down with regard

to distinct components of Section 364A:-

“25. …………….Section 364-A IPC has three
distinct components viz. (i) the person
concerned kidnaps or abducts or keeps the
victim in detention after kidnapping or
abduction; (ii) threatens to cause death
or hurt or causes apprehension of death or
hurt or actually hurts or causes death;
and (iii) the kidnapping, abduction or
detention and the threats of death or
hurt, apprehension for such death or hurt
or actual death or hurt is caused to
coerce the person concerned or someone
else to do something or to forbear from
doing something or to pay
ransom……………………”

31. We may also notice one more Three Judge Bench

Judgment of this Court in Arvind Singh Vs. State of

Maharashtra, (2020) SCC Online SC 400. In the above

case, an eight year old son of Doctor Mukesh Ramanlal

Chandak (PW1) was kidnapped by the accused A1 and A2.

Accused A1 was an employee of Dr. Chandak. It was

held that A1 had grievance against Dr. Chandak. A2

who accompanied A1 when the boy was kidnapped and

after the kidnapping of the boy it was found that boy

was murdered and at the instance of A1, the dead body

30
was recovered from a bridge constructed over a

Rivulet. Trial court had sentenced both A1 and A2 to

death for the offences punishable under Sections 364A

read with 34 and 302 read with 34. The High Court

had dismissed the appeal affirming the death

sentence. On behalf of A2, one of the arguments

raised before this Court was that although child was

kidnapped for ransom but there was no intention to

take the life of the child, therefore, offence under

Section 364A is not made out. This Court noticed the

ingredients of Section 364A, one of which was

“threatening to cause death or hurt” in paragraphs

90, 91 and 92, the following was observed:-

“90. An argument was raised that the child
was kidnapped for ransom but there was no
intention to take life of the child,
therefore, an offence under Section 364A
is not made out. To appreciate the
arguments, Section 364A of the IPC is
reproduced as under:

“364A. Kidnapping for ransom, etc.—
Whoever kidnaps or abducts any
person or keeps a person in
detention after such kidnapping or
abduction and threatens to cause
death or hurt to such person, or by
his conduct gives rise to a
reasonable apprehension that such
person may be put to death or hurt,
or causes hurt or death to such

31
person in order to compel the
Government or any foreign State or
international intergovernmental
organisation or any other person to
do or abstain from doing any act or
to pay a ransom, shall be
punishable with death, or
imprisonment for life, and shall
also be liable to fine.”

91. Section 364A IPC has three ingredients
relevant to the present appeals, one, the
fact of kidnapping or abduction, second,
threatening to cause death or hurt, and
last, the conduct giving rise to
reasonable apprehension that such person
may be put to death or hurt.

92. The kidnapping of an 8-year-old child
was unequivocally for ransom. The
kidnapping of a victim of such a tender
age for ransom has inherent threat to
cause death as that alone will force the
relatives of such victim to pay ransom.
Since the act of kidnapping of a child for
ransom has inherent threat to cause death,
therefore, the accused have been rightly
been convicted for an offence under
Section 364A read with Section 34 IPC. The
threat will remain a mere threat, if the
victim returns unhurt. In the present
case, the victim has been done to death.
The threat had become a reality. There is
no reason to take different view that the
view taken by learned Sessions Judge as
well by the High Court.”

32. We need to refer to observations made by Three

Judge Bench in paragraph 92 where this Court observed

that kidnapping of an eight year old victim for

32
ransom has inherent threat to cause death as it alone

will force the relatives of victim to pay ransom.

The Court further held that since the act of

kidnapping of a child has inherent threat to cause

death, therefore, the accused have been rightly

convicted for an offence under Section 364A read with

Section 34 IPC. In the next sentence, the Court held

that the threat will remain a mere threat, if the

victim returns unhurt, “the victim has been done to

death the threat has become a reality”. The above

observation made by Three Judge Bench has to be read

in context of the facts of the case which was for

consideration before this Court. No ratio has been

laid down in paragraph 92 that when an eight year old

child (or a child of a tender age) is

kidnapped/abducted for ransom there is inherent

threat to cause death and the second condition as

noted above, i.e., threatens to cause death or hurt

to such person, is not to be proved. The

observations cannot be read to mean that in a case of

kidnapping or abduction of an eight year old child

(or child of a tender age), presumption in law shall

33
arise that kidnapping or abduction has been done to

cause hurt or death. Each case has to be decided on

its own facts. In the foregoing paragraphs, we have

noticed that all the three distinct conditions

enumerated in Section 364A have to be fulfilled

before an accused is convicted of offence under

Section 364A. Thus, the observations in paragraph 92

may not be read to obviate the establishment of

second condition as noticed above for bringing home

the offence under Section 364A.

33. After noticing the statutory provision of Section

364A and the law laid down by this Court in the above

noted cases, we conclude that the essential

ingredients to convict an accused under Section 364A

which are required to be proved by prosecution are as

follows:-

(i) Kidnapping or abduction of any person or

keeping a person in detention after such

kidnapping or abduction; and

34

(ii) threatens to cause death or hurt to such

person, or by his conduct gives rise to a

reasonable apprehension that such person may

be put to death or hurt or;

(iii) causes hurt or death to such person in order

to compel the Government or any foreign State

or any Governmental organization or any other

person to do or abstain from doing any act or

to pay a ransom.

34. Thus, after establishing first condition, one

more condition has to be fulfilled since after first

condition, word used is “and”. Thus, in addition to

first condition either condition (ii) or (iii) has to

be proved, failing which conviction under Section

364A cannot be sustained.

35. The second condition which is “and threatens to

cause a death or hurt to such person, or by his

conduct gives rise to a reasonable apprehension that

such person may be put to death or hurt” is relevant

35
for consideration in this case since appellant has

confined his submission only regarding non-

fulfillment of this condition. We may also notice

that the appellant has filed grounds of appeal before

the High Court in which following was stated in

grounds No. 6 and 7:-

“6. The learned Judge failed to see that
PW-2 stated that he was treated well and
as such there was no threat to cause death
or hurt.

7. The learned Judge should have seen that
PW-1 did not state that the accused
threatened to cause death or hurt to his
son.”

36. Now, we may first look into the judgment of the

learned Sessions Judge regarding consideration of

fulfillment of second condition and the findings

recorded in that regard by learned Sessions Judge.

The Judgment of the learned Sessions Judge indicates

that from paragraphs 12 to 19, the learned Sessions

Judge has noticed the evidences of different

witnesses and in paragraph 20 following findings have

been recorded:-

“20. The learned counsel for the
defence contended that the prosecution
evidence are not at all sufficient to

36
establish the guilt of the accused for the
charge leveled against him. He further
contended that the accused is not real
culprit a false case was foisted against
him and he was no way connected to the
alleged kidnap. The said testimony of PWs
1 to 5 and PW-8 coupled with Ex.P.1 to P.4
and M.O.1 to 3 it clearly established that
the accused kidnapped PW-2 and telephoned
to PW-1 and demanded Rs. Two Lakhs for the
release of the PW-2. So the prosecution
clearly establishes the guilt of the
accused for the offence under Section
364(A)
of IPC and he is liable to be
convicted. Accordingly, this point is
answered in favour of the prosecution and
against the accused.”

37. The findings in paragraph 20 reveals that the

learned Sessions judge held that it is clearly

established that the accused kidnapped PW-2 and

telephoned PW-1 and demanded Rs.2 lakhs for release

of PW-2. On this finding, the learned Sessions Judge

jumped to the conclusion that prosecution has clearly

proved the case for conviction under Section 364A.

There are no findings recorded by learned Sessions

Judge that condition no. 2 was also fulfilled.

38. The High Court in its judgment has also in para

27 observed:-

37
“27. There is cogent, convincing and
overwhelming evidence on record to connect
the appellant/accused with the alleged
offence. The prosecution clinchingly
proved the guilt of the accused beyond all
reasonable doubt for the offence
punishable under Section 364A of IPC. The
Court below had meticulously analysed the
entire evidence on record and rightly
convicted and sentenced the
appellant/accused, basing on the oral and
documentary evidence. There is nothing to
take a different view. All the contentions
raised on behalf of the appellant/accused
do fail. The Criminal Appeal is devoid of
merit and is liable to be dismissed.”

39. The High Court has not dealt with the grounds

taken before it by the accused that no threat to

cause death or hurt was extended by the accused. From

the judgment of the high court, thus, it can be said

that there is no finding regarding fulfillment of

condition No.2. Both the Courts having not held that

condition No.2 as noted above was found established

on the evidence led before the Court the conviction

under Section 364A become unsustainable. The present

is not a case where applicability of condition No.

(iii), i.e., “or causes hurt or death” is even

claimed. Thus, fulfillment of condition No.(ii) was

necessary for conviction under Section 364A.

38

40. We, however, proceed to examine the evidence on

record to satisfy ourselves as to whether there was

any evidence from which it can be proved that

condition No.2, i.e., “threatens to cause death or

hurt or conduct of the accused gives rise to a

reasonable apprehension that victim may be put to

death or hurt” was established. The complainant,

PW-1, in his cross examination, stated “my son was

not physically assaulted…………… My son did not

complain me about bad behavior or assault of

anything. My son was kept in a good health and

without any kind of problem to my son.” PW-2, the

victim himself was examined, who was 13 years of age

at the time of examination. In his cross

examination, victim states:-“I was not assaulted nor

having stab, beating on my body. They treated me in a

good manner.”

41. Thus, neither PW-1, the father of the victim, the

complainant, nor the victim says that any accused

threatened to cause death or hurt. The evidence

39
which was led before the court suggest otherwise that

the victim was not assaulted and he was treated well

in a good manner as was stated by victim.

42. Now, coming to the second part of the condition

No.2, i.e., “or by his conduct gives rise to a

reasonable apprehension that such person may be put

to death or hurt”. Neither there is any such conduct

of the accused discussed by the Courts below, which

may give a reasonable apprehension that victim may be

put to death or hurt nor there is anything in the

evidence on the basis of which it can be held that

second part of the condition is fulfilled. We, thus,

are of the view that evidence on record did not prove

fulfillment of the second condition of Section 364A.

Second condition is also a condition precedent, which

is requisite to be satisfied to attract Section 364A

of the IPC.

43. The Second condition having not been proved to be

established, we find substance in the submission of

the learned Counsel for the appellant that conviction

40
of the appellant is unsustainable under Section 364A

IPC. We, thus, set aside the conviction of the

appellant under Section 364A. However, from the

evidence on record regarding kidnapping, it is proved

that accused had kidnapped the victim for ransom,

demand of ransom was also proved. Even though offence

under Section 364A has not been proved beyond

reasonable doubt but the offence of kidnapping has

been fully established to which effect the learned

Sessions Judge has recorded a categorical finding in

paragraphs 19 and 20. The offence of kidnapping

having been proved, the appellant deserves to be

convicted under Section 363. Section 363 provides

for punishment which is imprisonment of either

description for a term which may extend to seven

years and shall also be liable to fine.

44. In the facts of the present case, we are

satisfied that the appellant deserves to be sentenced

with imprisonment of seven years and also liable to

pay fine of Rs. 5,000/-. The Judgment of the learned

Sessions Judge and the High Court is modified to the

41
above extent. The conviction and sentence of the

appellant under Section 364A is set aside. The

appellant is convicted for offence under section 363

of kidnapping and sentenced to imprisonment of seven

years and fine of Rs.5,000/-. After completion of

imprisonment of seven years (if not completed

already) the appellant shall be released.

45. The appeal is partly allowed to the above extent.

………………..J.

(Ashok Bhushan)

………………..J.

(R.Subhash Reddy)

NEW DELHI,
JUNE 28, 2021.

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