1. This is an application in revision by Ghungru, Madan Lal and Raja Ram who have been sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for periods of three years under Sections 365 and 452, I.P.C. The allegation is that they abducted a young woman, Mt. Ram Sukhi, by force with intent to cause her to be secretly and wrongfully confined. It is said that in the course of abducting her they entered into the house where she was residing,, armed with lathis and spears and used force to other inmates. Mt. Ram Sukhi is the daughter of Shyam Sunder and was married about three or four years ago to Sukhdeo Prasad. The husband and wife did not get on well together and they parted company. The girl returned to her father. Sukhdeo Prasad took proceedings under Section 100, Criminal P.C., in an attempt to recover control over his wife but as she preferred to live with her parents the Magistrate refused to send her to her husband. That was in the year 1932. Nothing further happened till 17th April 1935. On that date Shyam Sunder was away from home in connexion with some case in which he was concerned. The allegation is that the three applicants took advantage of his absence to go into his house and remove the girl by force. It is said that they took her to the house of Madan Lal who was her husband's brother-in-law. The girl was recovered from Madan Lal's house and both the Magistrate and the Sessions Judge have believed on the evidence produced that the story told by the prosecution was true and that the girl was abducted by force by the three applicants.
2. It is argued in revision in the first place that the provisions of Section 365, I.P.C., do not apply because there was at no time any intention to confine the girl secretly. It is in evidence that the husband Sukhdeo Prasad made a report to the police on 17th April 1935 that he had taken his wife away from her father's house by force and that he had been opposed by force by her father. The suggestion is that there was no secret about the matter after the husband had made this report. I can see no force in this argument. It has been found by the learned Sessions Judge that the girl was removed at the instance of her husband land that she was taken to Madan Lal's [house so that her father should not be able to find her, the idea being that the father would naturally suppose that she was in her husband's house. The learned Sessions Judge has found and not unreasonably that the girl was to be concealed in Madan Lal's house and it seems to me therefore that ho was entitled to come to the conclusion that she was to be secretly confined in that house. The intention of the applicants at the time of the abduction can be deduced only from what they subsequently did. I think therefore that the conviction was justifiable under Section 365, I.P.C., although in this particular case the question is of no practical importance.
3. The other argument which has been addressed to me suggests that the husband had a right to take his wife away. Under our law a woman is not a slave and there is no justification for the suggestion that a husband is entitled to use force to compel his wife to leave her parents' house and join him. The conviction of the applicants is justified. The question however, remains whether the sentences are not too severe. The applicants are men in respectable positions and it will be sufficient punishment for them if they are sent to prison. It is not necessary to keep them in prison for so long a period as three years, I therefore refuse to interfere with the convictions of the applicants but I reduce the sentences from rigorous imprisonment for a period of three years to imprisonment for a period of six months under Section 365, I.P.C., and to a period of six months under Section 452, I.P.C. The sentences will run concurrently. The applicants must surrender to their bail.