Netra Pal V. State (National Capital Territory of Delhi), 2001

Section 364A of IPC provides for punishment to whoever threatens to hurt or cause death to that person whom he has kidnapped or abducted or detained after kidnapping or abduction in order to compel either the government or some foreign state or any other person to do or abstain from doing an act or pay a certain sum of money. The punishment is death or imprisonment for life and a fine, as mentioned in section 364A IPC. The essentials of the offence under section 364A are

In Netra Pal V. State (National Capital Territory of Delhi), 2001


-The appellant Netra Pal was known to Master Tanu Johia, a 6-year-old boy. One day he had taken the boy along with other boys on a joy ride in a Rickshaw. While he dropped the other boys, he did not drop off Tanu. His mother had thought that Netra Pal would come back with her son in a while. When he didn’t come back, she told his father. He tried to find him around the area where they live but failed to locate them and filed a police report.

-The police went to the appellant’s village and found him there along with the child. He was apprehended and a letter asking for Rs. 50,000 in ransom was found in his possession.


  • What do the words “To pay ransom” stand for – is it enough to show that kidnapping or abduction was done with the intention to extract ransom or is it necessary that such demand must be communicated?
  •  Whether the letter recovered from the appellant would constitute a demand for ransom?  


The court held that mere recovery of the letter assumed to have been written by the appellant demanding Rs. 50000 for the safety and return of the child is not enough to cover “ to pay the ransom” by itself. Demand by a kidnapper is an essential ingredient of the offence because, for the purpose of getting paid the ransom, demand must be communicated. After the conclusion of the case the learned Add. Sessions Judge convicted the appellant Netra Pal for the offence of kidnapping for which he was sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for three years and to pay a fine of Rs.300/-. In default of payment of fine to further undergo rigorous imprisonment for 15 days.

Adv.Khanak Sharma (D/1710/2023)

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