Legal Analysis of Consensual Relationship in Kidnapping Cases

Explore the nuanced legal analysis of consensual relationships in kidnapping cases, where the court’s interpretation plays a pivotal role. Understanding how the law navigates such intricate scenarios sheds light on the complexities of justice and fairness.


  • The complainant-father was informed by his wife that their daughter was last seen with the appellant outside a vacant bungalow.
  • The charge of kidnapping under Sections 363 and 366 of IPC was upheld by the High Court, while the conviction under Section 376 of IPC was overturned.
  • The prosecutrix admitted to being in love with the appellant, having had consensual sexual intercourse with him before, and meeting him outside her home on previous occasions.
  • A police complaint was registered after the incident.
  • The prosecutrix and the appellant were located at a farm near Modasa and brought back to Ahmedabad.
  • Several witnesses testified and documents were produced to prove the allegations of kidnapping and sexual intercourse against the appellant.
  • The Investigating Officer acknowledged discrepancies in the prosecutrix’s statements and the FIR.
  • The prosecutrix’s friend conveyed a message from a boy to her, further complicating the situation.
  • The Additional Sessions Judge convicted the appellant under Section 376 of IPC based on the testimony of the prosecutrix stating she was raped three to four times.
  • The High Court overturned the conviction under Section 376 but upheld the conviction under Sections 363 and 366 of IPC.
  • The High Court noted that despite a love affair being established, since the prosecutrix was a minor at the time of occurrence, the appellant’s conviction for kidnapping and enticing a minor girl was sustained.
  • The appellant’s claim of love between the parties was rejected, and it was held that he had enticed and lured the minor girl with the intent of intercourse and marriage, leading to convictions under Sections 363 and 366 of IPC.
  • The prosecutrix’s lack of protest or alarm was considered irrelevant in determining the charges of kidnapping, establishing the seriousness of the offences.
  • The appellant was sentenced to one year RI and fine for Section 363, five years RI and fine for Section 366, and ten years RI and fine for Section 376 of IPC.
  • Case laws were cited to argue that charges of kidnapping and rape were not applicable in cases of love affairs.

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  • The court addressed the issue of whether a consensual affair can be a defense against the charge of kidnapping a minor.
  • The court may consider the nature of the relationship and the consent of the minor in such cases.
  • The judgment may provide guidance on how consensual affairs are viewed in cases of kidnapping minors.

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  • Learned counsel for the appellant argued that the High Court’s acknowledgment of a consensual relationship between the parties should have led to the appellant’s acquittal under Section 376 IPC.
  • The High Court held that the prosecutrix did not willingly leave her parents’ custody and had not consented to be taken for marriage, which was seen as contradictory to the acknowledgment of a consensual relationship.
  • The appellant relied on the judgment in S. Varadarajan v. State of Madras to support the argument that voluntary abandonment of home by a minor girl does not amount to kidnapping unless there is active involvement by the accused in taking or enticing the minor.
  • The State Counsel supported the judgment of conviction, emphasizing the absence of consent by a girl below 18 years in a case of kidnapping under Section 361 IPC.
  • The appellant, dissatisfied with the kidnapping conviction, sought relief from the Supreme Court asserting his innocence.

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  • The case at hand involves the analysis of the appellant’s argument regarding the minor girl’s infatuation with the alleged kidnapper not being a defense in a kidnapping case, as it would undermine the protective essence of the offense.
  • The court found that the evidence suggested the appellant induced the minor to accompany him to a designated place, therefore the consent of the minor was not a defense to kidnapping.
  • The sentencing courts are expected to consider all relevant facts and circumstances while imposing a sentence commensurate with the gravity of the offense, balancing the rights of the victim and the societal interests.
  • The appellant’s appeal for leniency based on the infatuation of the minor with him and the time elapsed since the incident was not accepted, given the unambiguous language of the statute and the age of the prosecutrix.
  • The appellant’s argument about the consensual affair between him and the prosecutrix was not strong since it had not been his case that he had no active role in the occurrence.
  • The Court considers the possibility of reform for the appellant at a young and impressionable age, suggesting a humane approach at the stage of sentencing based on various relevant factors.
  • Section 361 of the IPC defines kidnapping from lawful guardianship as taking or enticing a minor under sixteen years of age if male, or under eighteen years if female, out of the keeping of their lawful guardian without consent.
  • The term ‘lawful guardian’ includes any person entrusted with the care of the minor.
  • Proving kidnapping requires establishing the act of taking or enticing, the minor’s age and lawful guardianship.
  • Merely recovering a missing minor from a stranger does not automatically prove kidnapping.
  • Failure to prove that the accused instigated the act of removal makes establishing guilt challenging.
  • In the present case, the appellant unintentionally admitted to his culpability by confessing to establishing sexual intercourse with the victim and having the intention to marry her.
  • Undue sympathy in imposing inadequate sentences can harm the justice system and erode public confidence in the law.
  • Proper sentencing is crucial, considering the nature and execution of the offense.
  • Kidnapping charges do not apply if a minor voluntarily leaves the guardian’s care without any inducement from the accused.
  • There is no misuse of power, wealth, status, or age in this case, unlike in other cases.
  • The sentence of five years’ rigorous imprisonment is considered disproportionate to the facts of the case
  • Reducing the appellant’s sentence to the time already served would respect both societal concerns and the victim’s interests
  • The case is viewed as an offense of mala prohibita rather than mala in se
  • The power dynamic between the parties is not imbalanced, and it is suggested that they could have been married under different circumstances
  • An equitable sentence is deemed appropriate based on the circumstances
  • The prosecution has sufficiently proven the appellant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt


  • The appeal is partly allowed
  • The appellant is set free
  • The bail bonds are discharged
  • The quantum of sentence is reduced to the period of imprisonment already undergone


Case Number: Crl.A. No.-001919-001919 / 2010

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