Whoever being the father or mother of a child under the age of twelve years, or having the care of such child, shall expose or leave such child in any place with the intention of wholly abandoning such child, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, or with fine, or with both.
This section requires three essentials:
1) The person coming within its purview must be father or mother or must have the care of the child.
2) Such child must be under the age of twelve years.
3) The child must have been exposed or left in any place with the intention of wholly abandoning it.
This section of IPC is applicable only where the exposure or abandonment is of a child, both legitimate and illegitimate below 12 years of age. This section is meant to protect the interests of children below 12 years of age, because they are not in a position to protect themselves. The primary responsibility is cast on the parents and adults, who may have the custody of the child to bring up the child and to provide adequate care for children of tender age. The punishment for offence under this section is imprisonment which can sextend to 7 years, or fine, or both.