Hurt And Grievous Hurt

 

 

    -By Preyoshi Bhattacharjee

    Section 319 to 338 of IPC, deal with the offence of hurt and grievous hurt incorporating their punishments as such. The subject can be broadly classified into

    1. Simple hurt [Section 319, 321, 323]
    2. Grievous hurt [Section 320, 322, 325]
    3. Causing hurt or grievous hurt on provocation[Section 334 and 335]
    4. Causing hurt or grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or dangerous means[Section324 and 326]
    5. Causing grievous hurt by acid[Section 326A and 326B]
    6. Causing hurt or Grievous hurt to extort property[Section 327 and 329]
    7. Causing hurt by means of poison[Section 328]
    8. Causing hurt or grievous hurt to extort confession or compel restoration of property[Section 330 and 331]
    9. Causing hurt or grievous hurt to deter public servant[Section 332 and 333]
    10. Causing hurt or grievous hurt by endangering life or personal safety of others[Section 336, 337 338]

    Simple Hurt


    The term ‘simple hurt’ is not used anywhere in IPC. But to differentiate hurt from grievous hurt, the expression simple hurt has come into usage. Section 319 of IPC defines what hurt is-

    Hurt— whoever causes bodily pain, disease or infirmity to any person is said to cause hurt.
    Thus, to constitute hurt a person should have caused to another-
    1. Bodily pain
    2. Disease
    3. Infirmity

    Bodily Pain


    Here the expression ‘bodily pain’ is used and it means that the pain should be a bodily pain not a mental pain. Hurting someone emotionally would not constitute hurt within the meaning of Section 319. However, a direct physical contact need not be there. The only fact that bodily pain is caused as a result of an activity of a person is enough to cause hurt. In the case of Re Marana Gounden[[1]] the death of a person was caused by two kicks in the abdomen. The court here held him liable for hurt and punished him under Section 323.

    Disease


    ‘Causing disease’ means communicating a disease to another person. However, the communication of the disease must be done by contact. In the case of Raka v. Emperor[[2]] the appellant was contracted syphilis due to sexual intercourse with a prostitute. But the Bombay High Court held her guilty under Section 269 of IPC for spreading infection and not for causing hurt as the interval between the act and the disease was too remote to make her guilty.

    Infirmity


    Infirmity means an unsound or an unhealthy state of body. Many courts have also interpreted it to mean inability of an organ to perform its normal function. The inability may be permanent or temporary in nature. In the case of Jashanmal Jhamatmal v. Brahmanand Sarupananda[[3]] the wife of the complainant suffered from a nervous shock and became hysteric due to the act of the defence of holding a gun and scaring her. He was held guilty of hurt under Section 323.

    Section 321 states that whoever does an act with the intention of causing hurt or with the knowledge that he is likely to cause hurt is said “Voluntarily to cause hurt”. In this section two words are very important and they are ‘intention’ and ‘knowledge’. If a person intended to hurt another or knows that his act is likely to result in hurt to another then he will be liable for voluntarily causing hurt. Section 323 provides for the punishment of voluntarily causing hurt, it states that whoever is liable of voluntarily causing hurt except in case of Section 334, he shall be punished with an imprisonment which may extend upto 1 year or with a fine upto Rupees 1,000.

    Causing Hurt By Dangerous Weapon


    Section 324 states that whoever causes hurt by means of any instrument for shooting, stabbing or cutting or by any instrument which is likely to cause death or by means of fire or any heated substance or by means of nay poison or corrosive substance or any explosive substance or any substance which is deleterious to the human body to inhale or swallow or to receive into the blood or by means of any animal shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to three years or with fine or with both. As the punishment for hurt is very less, so this section ensures that if hurt is caused by using dangerous weapon then greater punishment should be given to that person.

    Causing Hurt By Means Of Poison


    Section 328 states that- Whoever administers to or causes to be taken by any person any poison or any stupefying, intoxicating or unwholesome drug, or other thing with intent to cause hurt to such person, or with intent to commit or to facilitate the commission of an offence or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby cause hurt, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.
    The essential ingredients of this section are-
    1. The offender should administer a poisonous, stupefying, intoxicating or unwholesome drugs
    2. Such administration should be with the intention to cause hurt, or to commit or facilitate the commission of an offence
    3. Such administration should be with knowledge that it is likely to cause hurt.

    In the case of Dharm Das Wadhwani v. State of Uttar Pradesh[[4]] the accused was a compounder in a hospital. The senior doctor had a headache and asked the accused for 10Gms of Aspirin, which was available in the dispensing room. Still he took time to bring it. The doctor consumed the aspirin and it was bitter. He washed his face and gargled to remove the bitter taste which was unusual. Then he went to a patient to give him an injection but till then he was feeling shaky and felt cramps in his calf muscles. The other doctor went in the dispensing room and asked the accused which medicine he had given him and he showed him aspirin bottle and he denied giving anything else. But it was later discovered after the doctor went through a stomach wash that he was administered strychnine, a deadly poison. The accused was convicted under Section 328.

    Greivous Hurt



    Section 320 of IPC defines what grievous hurt is. It categorises certain kinds of injuries particularly as grievous hurt. No other kinds of injuries can be termed as grievous hurt.
    Grievous hurt—the following kinds of hurt only are designated as “grievous”:—
    First. — Emasculation.
    Secondly. — Permanent privation of the sight of either eye.
    Thirdly. —Permanent privation of the hearing of either ear.
    Fourthly. —Privation of any member or joint.
    Fifthly. —Destruction or permanent impairing of the powers of any member or joint.
    Sixthly. —Permanent disfiguration of the head or face.
    Seventhly. —Fracture or dislocation of a bone or tooth.
    Eighthly.—any hurt which endangers life or which causes the sufferer to be during the space of twenty days in severe bodily pain, or unable to follow his ordinary pursuits.

    Emasculation


    This term is specifically mentioned for men. Emasculation means depriving a man of his strength or vigor or to be more specific by rendering a man impotent. If anyone emasculates another man then he/she is said to have caused grievous hurt.

    Injury To Eyesight


    An injury would be a grievous hurt if that deprives a person of his or her eyesight permanently of either of the eye. The loss of eyesight should be permanent, temporary loss would not be sufficient to classify a hurt as grievous hurt.

    Injury To Hearing


    If an injury deprives a person of his or her hearing ability of either of the ear, then it is a case of grievous hurt. The deprivation should be permanent and not temporary.

    Loss Of Limb Or Joint


    Section 320 states that a hurt would be a grievous hurt if there is privation of any member or joint. It means the loss of any limb or organ or destruction of any joint. So if a person injures another in such a way as to cause a loss of an organ or limb or a joint, then he would be said to have caused grievous hurt. A hurt would also be grievous hurt if it impairs any of the limb, organ or joint of a person.

    Disfiguration Of Head Or Face


    Where due to an injury the head or face of a person is disfigured, then that would be a case of grievous hurt. In the case of Gangaram v. State of Rajasthan[[5]] where the bridge of the nose was cut, as the injury was inflicted by a sharp edged, it was held by the Court that the injury amounted to disfiguration of face and thus accused was booked for grievous hurt.

    Fracture Or Dislocation Of Bone Or Tooth


    If the injury is so severe that it has caused the fracture or dislocation of a bone or tooth, then the hurt would be a grievous hurt. Merely abrasion of the bone is not sufficient for the hurt to be classified as grievous hurt .[[6]]

    Hurt Endangering Life And Causing Suffering


    If a person hurts another in such a way that it endangers the victim’s life or causes him to suffer with severe bodily pain and makes him or her unable to follow his ordinary pursuits for at least 20 days, then that is a case of grievous hurt.

    Section 322 states that whoever, causes a grievous hurt with the intention to cause grievous hurt is said to ‘voluntarily cause grievous hurt’. Explanation to this section states that if a person intended to cause a particular type of grievous hurt but caused another type of grievous hurt, he is still said to cause voluntary grievous hurt.

    Illustration
    A, intending of knowing himself to be likely permanently to disfigure Z's face, gives Z a blow which does not permanently disfigure Z's face, but which causes Z to suffer severe bodily pain for the space of twenty days. A has voluntarily caused grievous hurt.

    In the case of Horilal v. State of Uttar Pradesh[[7]] the accused had assaulted the victim. All the injuries disclosed that particular bones on which the injuries were inflicted were cut. There was however, no fracture. Hence, it was contended that the injuries did not constitute grievous hurt. The Supreme Court rejected the contention. It observed

    “In order to constitute grievous hurt under Section 320, it is not necessary that a bone should be cut through or that the crack must extend from the outer to inner surface or that there should be displacement of any fragment of the bone. If there is break by cutting or splintering of the bone or there is a rupture or fissure in it, it would amount to a fracture within the meaning of clause (7) of Section 320.”

    Section 325 provides for the punishment for voluntarily causing grievous hurt. Whoever causes grievous hurt voluntarily to anyone except in the case of Section 335 shall be punished with an imprisonment which may extend upto seven years and shall also pay fine.

    Causing Grievous Hurt By Dangerous Weapon Or Means


    Section 326 states that except in case provided by Section 335, whoever voluntarily causes grievous hurt to someone by means of any instrument for shooting, stabbing or cutting or by any instrument which is likely to cause death or by means of fire or any heated substance or by means of nay poison or corrosive substance or any explosive substance or any substance which is deleterious to the human body to inhale or swallow or to receive into the blood or by means of any animal shall be punished with imprisonment for life or with imprisonment which may extend to ten years and shall also be liable to pay fine.

    In the case of Pandurang v. State of Hyderabad[[8]] the Supreme Court held that giving a blow on the head with an axe, which penetrates half an inch into the head, is an act which is likely to endanger life. The accused was convicted under a Section 326.

    Causing Grievous Hurt By Use Of Acid


    Section 326A provides whoever causes permanent or partial damage or disability or burns or disfigures or disables any part or parts of the body of a person or causes grievous hurt by throwing acid or administering acid to that person, or by using any other means with the intention of causing or with the knowledge that he is likely to cause such injury or hurt, shall be punished with an imprisonment for life or imprisonment of not less than ten years and with fine.
    Provided that such fine shall be just and reasonable to meet the medical expenses of the treatment of the victim
    Provided further that any fine imposed under this section shall be paid to the victim.
    Section 326B states that- Voluntarily throwing or attempting to throw acid.—Whoever throws or attempts to throw acid on any person or attempts to administer acid to any person, or attempts to use any other means, with the intention of causing permanent or partial damage or deformity or burns or maiming or disfigurement or disability or grievous hurt to that person, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than five years but which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

    Explanation 1.—For the purposes of section 326A and this section, "acid" includes any substance which has acidic or corrosive character or burning nature, that is capable of causing bodily injury leading to scars or disfigurement or temporary or permanent disability.
    Explanation 2.—For the purposes of section 326A and this section, permanent or partial damage or deformity shall not be required to be irreversible.

    These Sections provide that the amount of fine that is to be paid should be just and reasonable to meet the medical expenses of the treatment. However, the amount of compensation paid in the form of fine is not enough to ensure the treatment and rehabilitation of the victim.

    In the case of Laxmi v. Union of India[[9]] the Apex Court directed all the states and union territories to grant a sum of Rupees 3 lakhs to every victim of acid attack.
    But in the case of Parivartan Kendra v. Union of India[[10]] the Supreme Court held that the Laxmi Dictum need not be followed every time if the government wants to grant a greater sum to a victim then there is no bar as such to do so. In this case a dalit girl was the victim of acid attack and she did not receive a compensation from the state for a long time.

    Causing Hurt Or Grievous Hurt To Extort Property


    Section 327 and Section 329 deals with causing hurt or grievous hurt to extort property or to commit an offence respectively. Section 327 provides for a punishment of imprisonment which may extend to ten years with fine to the offender. Section 329 provides for a punishment of imprisonment for life or imprisonment which may extend to ten years with fine.The essential ingredients of the two sections are
    1. A person should voluntarily cause hurt or grievous hurt
    2. It should be for the purpose of extorting from the victim or from any person interested in victim, any property or valuable security, or should be for a purpose of compelling the victim or any person interested in the victim to do an illegal act or facilitate the commission of an offence.
    Causing Hurt Or Grievous Hurt To Extort Confession Or Compel Restoration Of Property
    Section 330 states - Whoever voluntarily causes hurt, for the purpose of extorting from the sufferer or from any person interested in the sufferer, any confession or any information which may lead to the detection of an offence or misconduct, or for the purpose of constraining the sufferer or any person interested in the sufferer to restore or to cause the restoration of any property or valuable security or to satisfy any claim or demand, or to give information which may lead to the restoration of any property or valuable security, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.
    Illustrations: (a) A, a police-officer, tortures Z in order to induce Z to confess that he committed a crime. A is guilty of an offence under this section.
    (b) A, a police-officer, tortures B to induce him to point out where certain stolen property is deposited. A is guilty of an offence under this section.
    Section 331 states- Whoever voluntarily causes grievous hurt for the purpose of extorting from the sufferer or from any person interested in the sufferer any confession or any information which may lead to the detection of an offence or misconduct, or for the purpose of constraining the sufferer or any person interested in the sufferer to restore or to cause the restoration of any property or valuable security, or to satisfy any claim or demand or to give information which may lead to the restoration of any property or valuable security, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.
    The essential ingredients of these sections are-
    1. The offender should voluntarily cause hurt or grievous hurt
    2. It should be done with the purpose of-
    a) To extort confession or information
    b) To restore or cause restoration of any property or valuable security
    c) To satisfy any claim or demand
    d) To obtain any information, which may lead to the restoration of any property or valuable security
    3. If it is for the purpose of extorting confession or information, such confession or information should lead to the detection of an offence or misconduct.

    In the case of Public Prosecutor v. Ranniappa[[11]] a boy was accused of theft. In order to extort confession from him, his hands were tied, wrapped in a cloth and kerosene oil was poured over it and a fire was lit. The accused was held guilty under Section 330.

    Causing Hurt Or Greivous Hurt To Deter Public Servants


    Section 332 states that Whoever voluntarily causes hurt to any person being a public servant in the discharge of his duty as such public servant, or with intent to prevent or deter that person or any other public servant from discharging his duty as such public servant or in consequence of anything done or attempted to be done by that person in the lawful discharge of his duty as such public servant, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.
    Section 333 states that- Whoever voluntarily causes grievous hurt to any person being a public servant in the discharge of his duty as such public servant, or with intent to prevent or deter that person or any other public servant from discharging his duty as such public servant, or in consequence of anything done or attempted to be done by that person in the lawful discharge of his duty as such public servant, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.

    The essential ingredients of these sections are
    1. The offender should voluntarily cause hurt or grievous hurt to a public servant
    2. It should be caused:
    a) When the public servant acted in discharge of his duties
    b) To prevent or deter any public servant from discharging his duty; or
    c) In consequence of anything done by the public servant in discharge of his duty.

    In the case of Allaudin Jiyauddin v. State of Maharashtra[[12]] a head constable disclosed his identity and informed the accused that he was being arrested for theft. The accused resisted and beat him. However, since the constable was not in his uniform at the time of arrest, this may have prompted the accused to resist the arrest. In this view the accused was convicted and sentenced for a rigorous imprisonment of three months.

    Causing Hurt Or Grievous Hurt By Provocation


    Section 334 and 335, deal with this matter. Section 334 states - Whoever voluntarily causes hurt on grave and sudden provocation, if he neither intends nor knows himself to be likely to cause hurt to any person other than the person who gave the provocation, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one month, or with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, or with both.
    Section 335 states that- Whoever voluntarily causes grievous hurt on grave and sudden provocation, if he neither intends nor knows himself to be likely to cause grievous hurt to any person other than the person who gave the provocation, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to four years, or with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees, or with both.

    The essential ingredients of these sections are-
    1. Offender should voluntarily cause hurt or grievous hurt
    2. It should be caused on provocation
    3. Provocation should be both grave and sudden
    4. He should not intend to hurt anyone other than the person who have provoked
    5. Or he should not have knowledge that his act is likely to cause hurt to any person other than the one who provoked.

    The provocation mentioned under this section should be both sudden and grave. The test of ‘grave and sudden’ provocation is whether a reasonable man, belonging to the same class of the society of the accused, placed in the same situation in which the accused was placed, would be so provoked as to lose his control[[13]]. In the case of Sham Bihari v. State of Orissa[[14]] the Orissa High Court refused to invoke Section 334 of IPC in favour of the husband of a woman who, suspecting his wife’s fidelity and after waiting for a day in cowshed to catch his wife’s paramour red handed, caused hurt to the paramour when he stealthily approached his wife and had sexual intercourse with her, and later the man died. The High Court said that the element of sudden provocation was absent in the case as he waited for one day to catch the deceased.

    Causing Hurt Or Grievous Hurt By Endangering Life Or Personal Safety Of Others


    Section 337 states that- Whoever causes hurt to any person by doing any act so rashly or negligently as to endanger human life, or the personal safety of others, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, or with both.
    Section 338 states that- Whoever causes grievous hurt to any person by doing any act so rashly or negligently as to endanger human life, or the personal safety of others, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.
    The essential ingredients of these sections are-
    1. The act of the accused must have resulted in hurt or grievous hurt
    2. The act must be done in a rash or negligent manner
    3. The rashness or negligence must be to the extent of endangering human life or personal safety of others

    These sections are only applicable if the hurt or grievous hurt are the direct result of the rash or negligent act. In the case of Balachandra v. State of Maharashtra[[15]] the accused had license under the Indian Explosives Act 1884, to manufacture, possess and sell fireworks and gunpowder. There was an explosion in the factory resulting in the death of 11 persons and injury to seven. It was found that the accused had stored large quantities of raw material, gunpowder and finished fireworks in the same place. In the view of this, the accused was found guilty under Section 304A and Section 337.

    CONCLUSION


    So, grievous hurt is an aggravated form of hurt whereby a greater punishment is given to the accused. There are provisions given in IPC where the means of inflicting hurt or grievous hurt is a decisive factor in giving punishment like in Section 324 and 326. Both of these offences are related due to their nature.



    References

    1) AIR 1941 Mad 560
    2) 1887 ILR 11 Bom 59
    3) AIR 1994 Sind 19
    4) AIR 1975 SC 241
    5) 1984 Cr LJ (NOC) 180 (Raj)
    6) Horilal v. State of Uttar Pradesh; AIR 1970 SC 1969
    7) AIR 1970 SC 1969
    8) AIR 1955 SC 216
    9) (2014) 4 SCC 427
    10) (2013) 3 SCC 571
    11) AIR 1955 Mad 424
    12) 1968 SCD 487
    13) KM Nanavati v. State of Maharashtra AIR 1962 SC, (1962) 1 Cr LJ 521 SC
    14) AIR 1953 Ori 308
    15) AIR 1968 SC 1319






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