Yes, There is difference between Kidnapping and Abduction!


In general spoken and written English we do not usually pay attention to the difference between two similar terms and use them interchangeably. Kidnapping and abduction are such two terms which are are generally used as synonyms but in the eyes of law they have different meanings-

Difference in a nutshell

Kidnapping– Removing a minor away from lawful custody without the guardian’s consent. The victim has to be a minor. The offence of kidnapping is punishable under Indian Penal Code.

AbductionForcefully compelling a person to go from any place deceitfully. The victim could be a major or a minor. In India, under the Indian Penal Code, abduction is not punishable in itself. It must be accompanied with some other listed offences.

(This article is meant only for general understanding and must not be assumed to be precise legal difference between kidnapping and abduction. If you are looking for a detailed difference then please refer to Orissa High Court’s decision in the case of  – Abhaya Jena v.State of Orissa, (1997) Crimes 531 (Ori))

By Nikita Anand on February 11, 2010 · Posted in Criminal Law

31 Comments | Post Comment

Tulika says:

Mighty. Mystic. Cryptic.


Posted on March 5th, 2010

Nikita Anand says:

The first Four words of your comment will make a perfect punch line for mightylaws! And as for the last word I am bound to say – ‘Same to you’.

Posted on March 6th, 2010

Karnik says:

Cant believe!!are you really a UG student??amazing>>??

Posted on March 6th, 2010

Nikita Anand says:

Thank you! 🙂 That surely encourages me to write even better.

Posted on March 6th, 2010

nausheen says:

wow dis is so much intresting man,,i m literary dying to get into a law school……………………

Posted on March 10th, 2010

palvinder singh oberoi says:

if a man persumes that he is a father of a child by way of surrogacy results and keeps the child with him and later on after dna test it comes negative in favour of that man . during the period an fir was registered against him u/s 363,504,506 ipc . will it be the expempted in ipc 361 because that person is persuming that the child is his till the dna result comes and after that the child was given to that lady. kindly advise about ipc 361 ?

Posted on May 25th, 2010

Nikita Anand says:

Dear Palvinder,
Surrogacy laws in India are not very clear till now. But as far as Section 361 is concerned the man may not be held liable under 361. This section does not extend to the act of any person who in good faith believes himself to be the father of an illegitimate child, or who in good faith believes himself to be entitled to lawful custody of such child, unless such act is committed for an immoral or unlawful purpose.

Posted on June 4th, 2010

anand says:

I have a question that how can a person can differentiate between kidnapping and abduction when the victim is a minor?

Posted on July 24th, 2010

Nikita Anand says:

Mr. Anand, Actually Its quite easy-
As it was put by Prof. G.S. Bajpai once-"The more simple way to differentiating the kidnapping from abduction could be to look at the very term ‘kidnapping’, which not only contains the word ‘kid’ but also has the forceful verb ‘napping’ in it characterizing the act of forceful removal of a child from the lawful custody".
As for abduction- Anyone can be abducted irrespective of age. It involves the element of deceit.

Posted on July 24th, 2010

Rameez says:

Great work!Your answers are very easy to understand.I am a student of B.A LL.B 2nd Year.Hope You will help me in future also.

Posted on September 23rd, 2010

Nikita Anand says:

Sure.. Thank you.

Posted on September 24th, 2010

Ram Advocate says:

this is a great task done by u.I think it is a good job for every one who is search of simple law.

with regards,

Posted on September 27th, 2010

Nikita Anand says:

Dear Sir,
Your comment means a lot to me.

Posted on September 27th, 2010

murugambal says:

hai nikitha! it is very amazing to make everybody to know law easily. Best Wishes.

Posted on November 8th, 2010

Nikita Anand says:

Thank you Sir!

Posted on November 13th, 2010

anju soni says:

hey nikita….
even i am agreed with ur differentiation but if u go through the doces….there is nothing mention in section 360 thant kidnapping iws only for minors….it says……kidnapping is taking away a person without his consent… age is mentioned there ….this is what i am confuse about……

Posted on January 7th, 2011

usha says:

the meaning of major and minor is not clear to me…

Posted on February 17th, 2011

Nikita Anand says:

A minor is someone below the age of 18. And a major is above 18.

Posted on February 20th, 2011

lawmanchandra says:

“Minor” means- for the purpose of kidnap

(i) In the case of a male, a person under sixteen years of age; and

(ii) In the case of a female, a person under eighteen years of age].

Posted on March 16th, 2011

Nikita Anand says:

Thank you Sir. I am happy that you pointed out the difference. It is a substantial contribution to the post.

Posted on March 16th, 2011

Ashley says:

I dont understand. How is only abduction deceitful. Isn’t kidnapping deceitful as well?

Posted on March 25th, 2011

Nikita Anand says:

Kidnapping has an element of enticement whereas abduction has an element of deceit.
The dictionary meaning of deceit is- An attempt or disposition to deceive or lead into error; any declaration, artifice, or practice, which misleads another, or causes him to believe what is false; a contrivance to entrap; deception; a wily device; fraud.
Enticement means- To attract by arousing hope or desire.

So kidnapping may or may not have element of deceit.. If a minor is taken away from lawful guardianship it qualifies as kidnapping. Whereas if a person is taken forcefully or by deceit it is abduction.

Posted on March 30th, 2011

Kishore Sarkar says:

Don’t you think that prostitution is immoral and unethical..
why not we ask to the govt. and bodies like human rights, women’s commission to provide the prostitutes a respectful way of earning.. Could a well nourished Indian Morality allow it..

Posted on March 29th, 2011

Olates jide says:

I always believe that a Crime, is a crimes…either Kidnappers or Abduct, both of them are Criminals… with force and thirst Is enforced…BOTH is Unacceptable Arrogance.

Posted on July 17th, 2011

Mrinal Shrivastava says:

hey nikita, great article. i always thought that the two were same. But now i can realise the difference..

Posted on July 21st, 2011

Nikita Anand says:

Thanks 🙂 It is one of the articles which I wrote in the very beginning. You will realize that my writing style has improved over the time.

Posted on July 23rd, 2011

SnehaAgarwal says:


Posted on October 21st, 2011

Nikita Anand says:

Its not punishable per se. It has to be accompanied by other offences to make it punishable.

Posted on October 23rd, 2011

SnehaAgarwal says:



Posted on October 21st, 2011

Nikita Anand says:

Sneha, Thanks for the input. 🙂

Posted on October 23rd, 2011

Abhimanyu says:

The ingredients of the two offences are entirely different. Kidnapping is itself divided into 2 Sections i.e; Section 360- Kidnapping from India and Section 361- Kidnapping from lawful guardianship. While Section 360 talks about conveying a person outside the territory of India without his consent or of some person legally authorized to consent on behalf so section 360 does not contains an element of a minor.
On the other hand Kidnapping from lawful guardianship as defined in Section 361, IPC it consists of enticing or removing a minor from the keeping of the lawful guardian without his consent and hence contains an element of minor. While abduction is an offence as defined in Section 362, IPC when a person is by force compelled or by any deceitful means induced to go from any place. In abduction the person abducted may be a minor or a major.

Posted on June 20th, 2013