No leniency for kindnappings for ransom: SC

The SC held that no leniency should be shown to those involved in heinous offences of kidnapping or abducting people for ransom.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday held that
no leniency should be shown to those involved in heinous
offences of kidnapping or abducting people for ransom and such
crime calls for a deterrent punishment irrespective of whether
the victim is killed or let off alive.

A bench of justices P Sathasivam and P Chalameshwar
passed the ruling dismissing the appeal of one Akram Khan
challenging the life term imposed on him by the Calcutta High
Court for kidnapping a minor boy Vicky Prasad Rajak, son of a
businessman Mahendra Prasad Rajak, for a ransom of Rs 10 lakh.

Rajak was found missing on March 17, 2000 in the area
under Park Street police station in Kolkata. The same day his
parents received the ranson call.

The apex court said that Section 364A IPC provides for
life imprisonment or death penalty and no leniency can be
shown to such offenders as incidents of abduction and
kidnapping of children have sharply risen in recent years.

"It is clear from the above the concern of Parliament in
dealing with cases relating to kidnapping for ransom, a crime
which called for a deterrent punishment, irrespective of the
fact that kidnapping had not resulted in death of the victim.

"Considering the alarming rise in kidnapping young
children for ransom, the legislature in its wisdom provided
for stringent sentence.

"Therefore, we are of the view that in those cases
whoever kidnaps or abducts young children for ransom, no
leniency be shown in awarding sentence, on the other hand, it
must be dealt with in the harshest possible manner and an
obligation rests on the courts as well," Justice Sathasivam
writing the judgement said.

In the present case, the kidnappers had initially sought
a ransom of Rs 10 lakh but subsequently pruned it down to Rs
3 lakh, but were nabbed by police.

In the present case, the high court had imposed the life
sentence on Akram Khan, Afzal Khan, Md. Zakir Khan and Md.
Kalim, but only the former chose to appeal against the life

The apex court said the evidence led by prosecution
clearly established the guilt of the convict and there was no
reason to intefere with the concurrent findings of guilt by
the sessions court and the high court.

It said the High Court was right in convicting and
sentencing Akram Khan and its judgement does not suffer from
any infirmity to warrant interference.


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