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Calcutta HC Grants Relief to Transgender Rights Activist as Abduction and Kidnapping Claims Dismissed

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Published on: 30 August 2023 at 07:30 IST

The Calcutta High Court has provided relief to a Transgender Rights Activist, ruling that neither abduction nor kidnapping had taken place.

The Court addressed a petition filed under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, requesting the quashing of proceedings related to a case under Section 365 of the Indian Penal Code.

Justice Prasenjit Biswas, a Single Bench, stated, “It is brought to the notice of the court that grave miscarriage of justice would be committed if the trial is allowed to proceed where the accused persons would be harassed unnecessarily if the trial is allowed to linger when primafacie it appears to court that the trial would likely to be ended in acquittal. There is neither any case of abduction nor kidnapping prevails with regard to the petitioners as the opposite party no.3 left home voluntarily by her own choice.”

The Bench clarified that the offence under Section 365 of the IPC did not apply based on the facts and circumstances of the case. The ingredients of the offence were absent according to the allegations in the complaint.

Advocate Sremoyi Mukherjee represented the petitioners, while Advocate Kaushik Gupta and APP Aditi Shankar Chakraborty appeared for the opposite party and the State respectively.

Case Background:

The petitioner, an activist, frontline worker, and researcher for the transgender community, was informed by a transwoman that she had been subjected to mental and physical abuse due to her gender crisis. She expressed her desire to pursue an independent career and life but was allegedly detained by her family and prevented from doing so.

The petitioners were informed of her intention to leave home and advised her to write to the police about her situation. Despite dropping the letter in a mailbox outside the police station, the police disclosed the information to her family.

The petitioner claimed that the transwoman left home voluntarily due to harassment.

In light of the facts, the High Court observed that Section 365 of IPC pertains to an aggravated form of kidnapping and abduction, involving the intent to secretly and wrongfully confine the victim.

The Court clarified that for the offence under Section 365 to apply, there must be abduction. If no abduction occurs, the offence is not established.

“To prove the charge of wrongful confinement, proof of actual physical restriction is not essential. It is sufficient if the evidence shows that such an impression was produced in the mind of the accused as to create a reasonable apprehension in the mind of the victim.

The intention can be inferred from the subsequent acts and conduct of the kidnapper or abductor,” the Court added.

The High Court allowed the petition, quashing the case.