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India

Updated on: Friday, May 31, 2019, 11:06 PM IST

Kidnapping for ransom qualifies for death: SC

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New Delhi : The rising incidents of kidnapping and abduction for ransom not only by ordinary criminals but even by terrorists necessitate a stringent punishment for those indulging in such activities, the Supreme Court has said while upholding death sentence under section 364A of IPC. “The gradual growth of the challenges posed by kidnapping and abductions for ransom, not only by ordinary criminals for monetary gain or as an organised activity for economic gains

but by terrorist organisations is what necessitated the incorporation of Section 364A of the IPC and a stringent punishment for those indulging in such activities, reports PTI.

“Given the background in which the law was enacted and the concern shown by Parliament for the safety and security of the citizens and the unity, sovereignty and integrity of the country, the punishment prescribed for those committing any act contrary to Section 364A cannot be dubbed as so outrageously disproportionate to the nature of the offence as  to call for same being declared unconstitutional,” a three-judge bench headed by Justice T S Thakur said.

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The apex court’s verdict came on a petition filed by a convict, who was awarded death sentence in a kidnapping-cum -murder case, challenging the constitutional validity of section 364A of IPC.

The court made it clear that “situations where the act which the accused is charged with is proved to be an act of terrorism threatening the very essence of our federal, secular and democratic structure may possibly be the only other situation where courts may consider awarding extreme penalty.

“But, short of death in such extreme and rarest of rare cases, imprisonment for life for a proved case of kidnapping or abduction will not qualify for being described as barbaric or inhuman so as to infringe the right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.”

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Published on: Monday, August 24, 2015, 12:24 AM IST
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