P. Liaquat Ali Khan Vs.
State of A.P.  INSC 792 (17 April 2009)
IN THE SUPREME COURT
OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 665 OF 2006 P.
Liaquat Ali Khan ...Appellant Versus State of Andhra Pradesh ...Respondent
Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT,
in this appeal is to the judgment of a Division Bench of the Andhra Pradesh
High Court dismissing the appeal filed by the appellant.
The learned IV
Additional Sessions Judge, Kurnool found the accused appellant guilty of
offence punishable under Section 364-A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (in short
the `IPC') and sentenced him to undergo imprisonment for life.
facts in a nutshell are as follows:
P.W.1 is grandfather
and PW-2 is father of the victim minor girl- Keerthi. PW-7 is their driver.
PW-3 is maid servant, PW-5 is the class teacher of Nursery class and PW-6 is
Principal, of Sri Lakshmi English Medium School, Kurnool. Keerthi aged about 3
years was studying in Nursery class of the school. On 03.7.2001 at about 8.30
a.m., PW 7 dropped the girl at the school and at about 8.45 a.m, one person
came to her class, informed PW 5 that parents of the child forgot to give syrup
to her and on his request, the girl was sent with him to administer the same. After
noticing that the child has been carried away by him, PW 5 instructed PW 3 to
stop him. The said person did not stop though cautioned by PW 3 and so, she
asked PW 8, who was coming by scooter, to stop that person. When PW 8 stopped
him and enquired about the matter, the said person informed that he was taking
the child for administering syrup and saying so, he boarded a bus and went
away. Thereafter, PW 3 went to the shop of PW 4 and enquired from him who also
informed her about the taking away of the child by the said person. Later, PWs
3 and 5 went to PW 6 and informed about the incident to her, who in turn
informed about the incident to the parents of the child. The parents came to
the school, searched for the child in N.R. Peta area of Kurnool and surrounding
places. PWs 3 and 5 narrated the physical features of the kidnapper. PW-12
registered the case on the basis of Ex. P1 -report and PW 13 took up further
On 4.7.2001, Ex. P2.
- letter demanding Rs. 1 crore for releasing the child was received by PW l,
who handed over the same to PW 13 in the presence of PW 11 under Ex.P5 -
panchanama. On 9.7.2001, another letter addressed in the name of PW 2 was
dropped in the house of PW 9 a neighbour of PW 1, demanding Rs.75 lakhs with an
instruction to keep the amount in a bag and place it under a culvert situated
after crossing Radio Station on 10.7.2001, which was handed over to PW 13 under
Ex. P6 -panchanama. On 10.7.2001 at about 12.30 p.m. on the instructions of PW
13, PW 2 placed a bag containing papers under the culvert. Mufti police
constables, PW 2, PW 13 and mediators were hiding in nearby throny bushes
around the culvert. At about 1.00 p.m. the accused came to that place by a
scooter, picked up the bag and when he reached the road mufti constables
surrounded and caught hold of him and on enquiry, accused furnished his
particulars. In pursuance of Ex. P 7- Statement, he led them to Avanthi Nagar
Street near House No 2-19-10-12 which was locked from outside with a to let
board. The accused opened the doors and led them to rear side bathroom where
the child was found. PW-2 identified the child.
Ex. P.8 is the said
panchanama and Ex.P10 is rough sketch showing topography of the house where the
girl was confined. On requisition by police, PW 10- Magistrate conducted test
identification parade on 21.7.2001.
After completion of
investigation, charge sheet was filed. Since the accused persons pleaded
innocence, trial was held. To substantiate the accusations, thirteen witnesses
were examined and several documents were exhibited and case properties were
The trial Court held
the appellant guilty. In appeal High Court declined to interfere.
basic stand in the present appeal was that contents of Exh.P2 and P3 were not
proved to have been written by the appellant and if that aspect is not proved
the question of kidnapping for ransom does not arise as there was no evidence
to show that the accused demanded any amount. It was also submitted that
Section 364-A had no application.
counsel for the respondent-State on the other hand supported the judgment.
is to be noted that while granting leave it was restricted to the nature of
offence only. Learned counsel for the appellant submitted that Section 364-A
was introduced by Notification in the Official Gazette w.e.f. 3.12.1992 The
Statement of Objects and Reasons for the introduction shows that kidnapping for
ransom is relatable only to cases where intention was to cause death or hurt
and not to a case of this nature. The object of the introduction has also been
referred to in this regard.
364-A deals with separate type of offence. The reasons for introduction of the
provision need to be noted. Sections 364, 365, 366 and 367 deal with various
situations under Chapter XVI. Accused got written Exts. P2 and P3 and his house
is at a short distance from the house of the victim. The accused's demand for
ransom is involved and therefore Section 364-A has clearly application. The
evidence on record shows that in terms of the disclosure made by the accused
the child was recovered. The accused came near the culvert and picked up the
bag containing money. The prosecution case is that the place was indicated
where the bag was to be kept. As indicated above arrangement was worked out on
10.7.2001 and the bag was put as indicated by the accused who came to collect
364-A reads as follows:
for ransom etc.- Whoever kidnaps or abducts any person or keeps a person in
detention after such kidnapping or abduction and threatens to cause death or
hurt to such person or by his conduct gives rise to a reasonable apprehension
that such person may be put to death or hurt or cause hurt or death to such
person in order to compel the Government or a foreign State or international
inter- governmental organization or any other person to do or abstain from
doing any act or to pay a ransom, shall be punishable with death, or
imprisonment for life and shall also be liable to fine."
364-A deals with separate type of offence where ransom is a distinguishing
feature. The demand of ransom has been clearly established and the role played
by the accused has been analysed by the trial Court and the High Court. We find
no infirmity in the present appeal to warrant interference which is accordingly
(Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT)
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