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Moot Research

• Simple hurt – (Sec. 319, 321, 323)


• Grievous hurt – (Sec. 320, 322, 325)
• Causing hurt or grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or dangerous means –
(Sec. 324, 326)
• Causing hurt or grievous hurt on provocation – (Sec. 334, 335)
• Causing hurt or grievous hurt by endangering life or personal safety of others –
(Sec. 336, 337, 338)

Simple Hurt / Hurt


Section 319 – Whoever causes boily pain, disease or infirmity to any person is said to
cause hurt.

The expression ‘bodily pain’ means that the pain must be physical as opposed to any
mental pain.
In order to come within this section, it is not necessary that any visible injury should
be caused on the victim. All that the section contemplates is the causing of bodily
pain1. The degree or severity of the pain is not a material factor to decide whether this
section will apply or not.

‘Infirmity’ denotes an unsound or unhealthy state of the body.


‘Infirmity’ has been interpreted by Courts to mean inability of an organ to perform its
normal function. The inability may be temporary or permanent.

Voluntarily Causing Hurt


Section 321 – Whoever does any act with the intention of thereby causing hurt to any
person, or with the knowledge that he is likely thereby to cause hurt to any person,
and does thereby cause hurt to any person, is said “voluntarily to cause hurt”.

1 Ranganayakamma v. State of Andhra Pradesh AIR 1967 AP 208, (1967) Cr LJ 849.


The most essential component of this section is ‘intention’ to cause hurt, or the
‘knowledge’ that the act is likely to cause hurt. If ‘intention’ or ‘knowledge’ is absent,
then it will not amount to voluntarily causing hurt.

Punishment for Voluntarily Causing Hurt


Sec. 323 – Whoever, except in the case provided for by Sec. 334, voluntarily causes
hurt, shall be punished with imprisonment of either discription for a term which may
extend to one year, or with fine which may extend to 1000 rupees, or with both.

Intention or Knowledge
Intention to cause hurt, or knowledge that an act is likely to cause hurt, is the most
decisive factor to decide whether a person can be held guilty of voluntarily causing
hurt. The extent of injury that is actually caused is not relevant, but what is the
intention with which the hurt was caused is relevant.

Principle – A person must be punished for the hurt he intended to cause or had
knowledge that it is likely to be caused as a result of the act done by the person. No
one should be punished for unfortunate and completely unforeseen result of the acts
done.

Grievous Hurt
Section 320 – The following kinds of hurt only are designated as “grievous”:-
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
persuits.
No other hurt outside the categories of injuries enumerated in Sec. 320 can be termed
as grievous hurt. Therefore, unless a hurt caused comes within the injuries specified
in Sec. 320, this Section will not apply2.
All these clauses need to be interpreted strictly3.

Voluntarily Causing Grievous Hurt


Section 322 – Whoever voluntarily causes hurt, if the hurt which he intends to cause
or knows himself to be likely to cause is grievous hurt, and if the hurt which he
causes is grievous hurt, is said “voluntarily to cause grievous hurt”.
Explanation – A person is not said voluntarily to cause grievous hurt except when he
both causes grievous hurt and intends or knows himself to be likely to cause grievous
hurt. But he is said voluntarily to cause grievous hurt, if intending or knowing
himself to be likely to cause grievous hurt of one kind, he actually causes grievous
hurt of another kind.

Punishment for Voluntarily Causing Grievous Hurt


Section 325 – Whoever, except in the case provided for by Section 335, voluntarily
causes grievous hurt, shall be punished with imprisonment of either discription for a
term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

The Supreme Court observed in Hari Lal v. State of Uttar Pradesh4; “In order to
constitute grievous hurt under Sec. 320, it is not necessary that a bone should be cut
through, and through or that the crack must extend from the outer to the inner surface
or that there should be displacement of any fragment of the bone. If there is a 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 Sec. 320.”
Thus the Court held that the injuries of cut in the bones would amount to ‘grievous
hurt’.

2 Mathai v. State of Kerala AIR 2005 SC 710, (2005) Cr LJ 898 (SC).


3 Mathai v. State of Kerala (2005) 3 SCC 260, AIR 2005 SC 710.
4 AIR 1970 SC 1969
Section 326 – Voluntarily causing Grievous Hurt by Dangerous Weapons or Means
Whoever, except, in the case provided for by Sec. 335, voluntarily causes grievous
hurt by means of any instrument for shooting, stabbing or cutting, or any instrument
which, used as a weapon of offence, is likely to cause death, or by means of fire or
any heated substance, or by means of any poison or any corrosive substance, or by
means of any explosive substance, or by means of any substance which it is
deleterious to the human body to inhale, to swallow, or to receive into the blood, or
by means of any animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with
imprisonment of either discription for a term which may extend to 10 years, and shall
also be liable to fine.

It is not the actual nature of the injury causes namely, whether simple hurt or grievous
hurt, but the manner in which it is caused, which is relevant.

Expression ‘any instrument which, used as a weapon of offence, is likely to cause


death’, when read in the light of marginal note to Sec. 324, means dangerous weapon
which if used by the offender is likely to cause death.5
However, what weapon becomes a ‘dangerous weapon’ depends upon the facts of
each case and no generalisation can be made.6

Causing Hurt or Grievous Hurt on Provocation


Both Sec. 324 and 326 exempt cases covered by acts causing hurt or grievous hurt on
provocation under Sec. 334 and 335 respectively.
When simple hurt or grievous hurt is caused by a person as a result of grave and
sudden provocation, even if the offender uses dangerous weapons, his acts will not
come within the purview of Sec. 324 and 326, as the section specifically exempts
such acts.
The accused will get the benefit of Sec. 334 and 335, where a lighter sentence has
been prescribed by the legislature.
5 Anwarul Haq v. State of Uttar Pradesh (2005) 10 SCC 581, AIR 2005 SC 2382.
6 Mathai v. State of Kerala (2005) Cr LJ 898 (SC), AIR 2005 SC &710
Dangerous weapons or Dangerous Means
The discription covers even instruments which are not designed for use as weapons,
but are capable of being used as weapons such as crowbars, spades, etc.
The following have been held to be dangerous weapons within the meaning of the
Sections: 1) axe; 2) dao or chavi or sharp weapon; 3) knife; 4) razor blade; 5)
revolver or gun; 6) hot ladle; 7) arrow; 8) jumper or cudgel or iron, shod stick; 9) a
thick lathi; 10) a broken soda bottle; 11) tooth.7

However, it is important to note that whether a particular weapon comes under the
category of ‘dangerous weapons’ or not depends upon various factors. Therefore, no
generalisation can be made about what consstitutes ‘dangerous weapon’. It needs to
be ascertained in the light of the facts of each case.8

Causing Hurt or grievous Hurt on Provocation


Section 334 – Voluntarily causing Hurt on Provocation
Whoever voluntarily causes hurt on grave and sudden provocation, if he neither
intends nor knows himself to be likely to cause hurt to any perso other than the
person who gave the provocation, shall be punished with imprisonment of either
discription for a term which may extend to one month, or with fine which may extend
to 500 rupees, or with both.

Section 335 – Voluntarily causing Grievous Hurt on Provocation


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 4 years, or with fine which may
extend to 2000 rupees, or, with both.

7 Haramant v. State of Karnataka AIR 1994 SC 1545.


8 Mathai v. State of Kerala (2005) Cr LJ 898 (SC).
Essential Ingredients:
1) Offender should voluntarily cause hurt or grievous hurt;
2) It should be caused on provocation;
3) Provocation caused should be both grave and sudden;
4) He should not intend to cause hurt to any person other than the person who
provoked; or
5) He should not have knowledge that his act is likely to cause hurt to any person
other than the person who provoked.

In order that this Section should apply, it is important to establish that there was
provocation and such provocation was grave and sudden. If the provocation is only
sudden but not grave, the offence will not be one punishable under either of these
sections. Similarly, if the provocation is only grave and not sudden, the act will not
amount to an offence under these sections.

The test of ‘grave and sudden’ provocation is whether a reasonable man, belonging to
the same class of society as the accused, placed in the situation in which the accused
was placed, would be so provoked as to loose his control9.

In Sham Behari v. State of Orissa10, the Orissa High Court refused to invoke Sec. 334
of the IPC in favour of the husband of a woman (and his friend), who, suspecting his
wife’s fidelity and after waiting for a day in his cowshed to catch his wife’s paramour
redhanded, 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 held that the
element of sudden and grave provocation was absent as the accused waited for a day
to catch the deceased.

9 KM Nanavati v. State of Maharashtra AIR 1962 SC, (1962) 1 Cr LJ 521 (SC).


10 AIR 1953 Ori 308.
Causing Hurt or Grievous Hurt by Edangering Life or Personal Safety of Others.
Section 336 – Act Endangering Life or Personal Safety of Others
Whoever does 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 3 months, or with fine which may extend to 250
rupees, or with both.

Section 337 – Causing Hurt by Act Endangering Life or Personal Safety of Others
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 6 months, or with
fine which may extend to 500 rupees, or with both.

Section 338 – Causing Grievous Hurt by Act Endangering Life or Personal Safety of
Others
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 1000 rupees or both.

Essential Ingredients:
1) The act of accused must have resulted in simple or grievous hurt;
2) The act must be done in a rash and negligent manner; and
3) The rashness or negligence must be to the extent of endangering human life or
personal safety of others.

These sections will be applicable only in cases where the hurt caused is a direct result
of the negligent or rash act11.

11 Public Prosecutor v. Pitchaiah Moopanar AIR 1970 Mad 198