Section 368. Wrongfully concealing or keeping in confinement, kidnapped or abducted person
SECTION 368 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 deals with wrongfully concealing or keeping in confinement, kidnapped or abducted person. It states:
“Whoever, knowing that any person has been kidnapped or has been abducted, wrongfully conceals or confined such person, shall be punished in the same manner as if he had kidnapped or abducted such person with the same intention or knowledge, or for the same purpose as that with or for which he conceals or detains such person in confinement.”
NATURE OF SECTION 368:
• Punishment: same as kidnapping or abduction, that is, for kidnapping punishment with imprisonment of about seven years and with fine. For abduction, imprisonment for about ten years and with fine.
• It is a cognizable offence.
• It is a non-bailable offence.
• It is a non-compoundable offence.
Section 368 does not apply to the preparator of the offence of kidnapping or abduction but to his accomplice who knowingly conceals the kidnapped or abducted person. Whether there has been wrongful concealment or confinement under section 368, is a matter to be considered from the facts and the circumstances of a particular case.
In Smt. Saroj Kumari v. State of UP [MR 1973 Sc 201], the accused had been charged of the offence of stealing a new born child from its mother’s delivery bed in the maternity hospital, as the child was found in the bedroom of the accused, although, she had not given birth to any new born child.
The Supreme Court upheld her conviction under Section 268, holding that under the circumstances, the interferences of concealment concurrently drawn by the courts were justifiable and correct.