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Mere Abduction Of Woman Doesn’t Attract Offence Under Section 366 IPC: SC [Read Judgment]

It must further be proved that the accused abducted the woman with the intent that she may be compelled, or knowing it to be likely that she will be compelled to marry any person or in order that she may be forced or seduced to illicit intercourse or knowing it to be likely that she will be forced or seduced to illicit intercourse, the Court said.

The Supreme Court has reiterated that mere abduction of a woman does not attract offence under Section 366 of Indian Penal Code without proof that the woman was abducted with the intent that she may be compelled, or knowing it to be likely that she will be compelled to marry any person or in order that she may be forced or seduced to illicit intercourse or knowing it to be likely that she will be forced or seduced to illicit intercourse.

In the FIR initially lodged, the allegation was only that the accused forcibly took her to his house. Five days later, a supplementary statement was given wherein the complainant included allegations of removing her clothes and touching her inappropriately or molestation was added afterward. The complainant had approached the apex court against Bombay High Court order that upheld discharge of the accused for the offence under Section 366 IPC.

The bench of Justice AK Sikri and Justice RK Agrawal noted that explanation for not including allegations of molestation initially is due to embarrassment. The court said the explanation does not inspire confidence as FIR was lodged five days’ after the incident and, therefore, she lodged the same with due deliberation. Again, why within one week thereafter she thought of mentioning about the molestation and did not feel embarrassed now? There is no explanation for that, the bench said.

The bench, then observed: “So far as charge under Section 366 IPC is concerned, mere finding that a woman was abducted is not enough, it must further be proved that the accused abducted the woman with the intent that she may be compelled, or knowing it to be likely that she will be compelled to marry any person or in order that she may be forced or seduced to illicit intercourse or knowing it to be likely that she will be forced or seduced to illicit intercourse. Unless the prosecution proves that the abduction is for the purposes mentioned in Section 366 IPC, the Court cannot hold the accused guilty and punish him under Section 366 IPC.”

The court also said that even if it is proved that accused forcibly took her to his house, but the later version that his intention was to marry her or to force or seduce her to illicit intercourse is clearly an afterthought. “At the highest, the case can be put that both of them were in a relationship and due to sudden outbreak of emotions or due to sense of insecurity on the part of Respondent No. 2, the above act was done,” the bench said dismissing the appeal and directing the trial court to complete trial on other offences within six months.

Read the Judgment Here

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