“We are of the view that in cases where young children are kidnapped or abducted 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,” said the apex court bench of Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice J. Chelameswar.
Speaking for the bench, Justice Sathasivam said: “It is clear…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.”
The court said this while upholding the Calcutta High Court verdict of June 26, 2010, by which it awarded life imprisonment to four of the seven people convicted by a fast track court Feb 17, 2006, in a kidnapping case.
The fast track court had given life sentences to all the seven accused held guilty.
The high court had acquitted three of the seven accused, giving them the benefit of doubt.
Declining to interfere with the high court verdict, the apex court noted: “Considering the alarming rise in kidnapping of young children for ransom, the legislature in its wisdom, provided for stringent sentence.”
The case referred to the kidnapping of a boy named Vicky Prasad Rajak in Kolkata March 17, 2000.
Vicky’s father Mahendra Prasad Rajak later received telephone calls from unknown people demanding a ransom of Rs.10 lakh. The callers threatened that his son would be killed if the money was not paid.
Police investigations revealed that an ex-employee of Mahendra had kidnapped the boy.