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hurt and grievous hurt

Authors of IPC in context of Hurt in NOTE M pg .151 said , "Many of the offences which fall under the head of hurt , also fall in the head of assault . A stab , a blow which fractures a limb, the flinging of boiling water over a person , are assaults , and are also that acts which cause bodily hurt . But bodily hurt may be caused by many acts which are not assault. A person , for example , who mixes a deleterious potion , and places it on the table of another ; a person who conceals scythe in the grass on which another person is in the habit of walking ; a person who digs a pit in public path , intending that another may fall into it , may cause serious hurt , and may be justly punished for causing such hurt ; but they cannot , without extreme violence to the language can be said to have committed assaults. We propose to designate all pain , disease and infirmity by the name of hurt. "

Authors of IPC in context of Grievous Hurt on Note M pg . 151 said , " We have found it very difficult to draw a line between those bodily hurts which are serious and those which are slight . To draw such a line with perfect accuracy is , indeed , absolutely impossible ; but it is far better that such a line should be drawn , though rudely , than that offences some of which approach in enormity to murder, while others are little more than frolics which a good nature man would hardly resent , would be classed together."

It has been ruled in Queen Empress v. Vasta Chela (1895) ILR 19 Bom 247 that an injured man may be quite capable of following his ordinary pursuits long before 20 days are over and yet for the sake of permanent recovery or greater case or comfort, be willing to remain as a convalescent in a hospital, especially if he is fed at the public expense.

Patna High Court

Rambaran Mahton vs The State on 31 October, 1957

It will appear from Section 325 read with Section 322 I. P. C. that the essential ingredients of the offence of voluntarily causing grievous hurt, are three in number : (1) grievous hurt as described in Section 320 must first be caused. If the hurt actually caused is simple, a person cannot be held guilty of voluntarily causing grievous hurt even if it was in his contemplation; (2) the offender intended, or knew himself, to be likely to cause, grievous hurt. If he intended or knew himself to be likely to cause only simple hurt, he cannot be convicted for the offence under Section 325 even if the resultant hurt was grievous. In other words, to constitute the offence of voluntarily causing grievous hurt, there must be complete correspondence between the result and the intention or the knowledge of the accused (3) the hurt was caused voluntarily.

In other words, the causation of grievous hurt was either in contemplation or was the likely result of the act done. It is manifest that in the nature of the things it is difficult to obtain direct proof of what the offender thought was likely to happen. In all cases it is really a question of inference from the nature of the act committed by the offender, his conduct and the surrounding circumstances of the case.

When the act that he did in the process of causing hurt is such as any person of ordinary prudence knows it likely to cause grievous hurt, he may safely be taken to have intended grievous hurt, or at least to have contemplated grievous hurt as likely to occur. If the act was such that nothing more than simple hurt could reasonably be thought likely to ensue from it, then although grievous hurt may unexpectedly have ensued, the offender can be convicted of simple hurt, only assuming that grievous hurt was not in his contemplation.

Punjab-Haryana High Court

Dr. A.G. Bhagwat vs U.T. on 23 February, 1988

The term "endangers life" is much strogner than an expression dangerous to life. This expression appears to have been designedly used by the Legislature to exclude cases of hurt which however dangerous to life, do not put life in a given case to danger.mere remaining in a hospital as a patient for 20 days or more cannot by itself be equated with the patient remaining unable to follow his ordinary pursuits.


Beshor Bewa (1872) 18 W.R (Cr.) 29 , The accused with a view to chastise her daughter aged about 8-10 years for impertinence gave her a kick on the back and two slaps on the face , as a result of which she died. Accused was held guilty of causing hurt.

Randhir Singh (1881) ALL 597 , the accused caused death of a person throwing a piece of brick at him which struck him in the region of the spleen and ruptured it. The spleen was already diseased (unknown to the accused) . He was liable to cause hurt only , as the requisite intention or knowledge required under section 299 was missing.

Marana Goudan (AIR 1941 Mad 560) - The accused demanded one anna from the deceased which the latter owed him . The deceased promised to pay later Thereafter , the accused kicked him twice on the abdomen and deceased collapsed and died. The accused was held guilty of causing hurt as it could not be said that he intended or knew that kicking on the abdomen was likely to endanger life.

Allahabad High Court

Anis Beg vs Emperor on 11 August, 1923

This is an appeal from a conviction under Section 328 of the Indian Penal Code,

the accused having been charged with poisoning with dhatura a number of persons including one Musammat Chando, who is a girl of about 12 years. The accused is about 16 years of age, and it is the prosecution case that he became infatuated with the girl Musammat Chando and began to make advances to her and did various tricks to make her inclined towards him. It is said that he first got her brother Narain to take a cake of soap and crochet needle and ten annas that Musammat Chando might knit him something. He also asked her brother to get him some earth from below her left foot. He then tried to get some sweets sent to her through one Manohar, who refused to take them. Ultimately he persuaded Kanhaiya, a boy of about 12 years of age, to take five peras one of which is said to have contained dhatura, in order that they might be given to Musammat Chando and other members of her family. There can be no doubt that Kanhaiya did distribute these peras to various people, including Musammat Chando. All the persons who took these peras showed symptoms of poisoning.. The Doctor came to the conclusion that all that was the effect of the dhatura poisoning, particularly as he noticed the pupils of these people dilated

This Doctor also came to the conclusion that these persons showed signs of dhatura poisoning.

Court held, " The word "hurt" is defined in Section 319 of the Indian Penal Code as meaning either bodily pain or disease or infirmity to any person. The bodily pain or infirmity obviously may either be permanent or temporary. If a person by the administration of that drug is thrown into a delirium, with the possible risk of falling into coma and becoming unconscious for the time being, it is clear that both bodily pain and infirmity are caused. "Infirmity" has been defined by one author as inability of an organ to perform its normal function which may either be temporary or permanent. In my opinion this definition seems to be correct. Under the circumstances there can be no doubt that the accused must be deemed to have had knowledge that the administering of the drug was likely to cause hurt within the meaning of Section 319 of the Indian Penal Code.It is very fortunate that none of the persons who took the peras died. The result is that this appeal fails and it is dismissed."


in State of Karnataka v. Shivalingaiah alias Handigidda, reported in [1988] Supp SCC 533. In this case, there was an altercation between two parties and in the course of the altercation, the Respondent squeezed the testicles of the deceased, who then fell down unconscious and died. The evidence of the Doctor was that the death was as a result of cardiac arrest resulting from shock due to injuries to the testicles. It is on those facts that this Court held that there was no evidence of intention to commit a murder. It was on those facts that it was held that neither Section 302 nor 304-II IPC would apply. To be noted however that this Court convicted the accused under Section 325 IPC.

Supreme Court of India

Pirthi vs State Of Haryana on 8 October, 1993

The facts of the prosecution case are that on April 2, 1986 at about 2 p.m. the appellant came in front of the house of Jia Lal, deceased and there was a quarrel and the appellant kicked the deceased on his testicles as a result of which the deceased fell down. The appellant again kicked on the testicles of the deceased. The wife and daughter of the deceased intervened and they removed the injured to the house and later he was shifted to the hospital only on April 4, 1986. The doctor found a diffused swelling on the scrotum and penis and skin over the scrotum and penis was found to be blackening and gangrenous and he was treated in the hospital. Because of the gangrene the deceased died on April 5, 1986. A case was registered under Section 302 IPC. Trial Court convicted for 304 IPC . Medical opinion was that injury was not direct cause of death , but it was the subsequent gangrene which developed that took the life of the victim . Supreme court convicted him for 323 , setting aside the conviction for 304 IPC .

Supreme Court of India

State Of Karnataka vs Mohamed Nazeer @ Babu on 24 January, 2003

The accused/ respondent was charged for having committed an offence under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code. The case of the prosecution was that on 13th of March, 1987, the accused /respondent went to the house of the deceased Amiruddin at about 8.30 pm. The accused/Respondent caught hold of the banian of the said Amiruddin, lifted him up, hit him on the right check and back portion of the neck. On hearing the commotion two neighbours (PW.6 and PW.7) came. The Respondent then stated to Amiruddin that he would not leave him alive and kicked him with the right knee on his private part. Amiruddin fell down saying, "O' God, I am dying", and he died there. The prosecution case is that the Respondent tried to run away but was stopped by the neighbours who caught hold of him and thereafter when the police came they handed over the Respondent to the police.

The evidence of the Doctor clearly show that the death was caused due to neurogenic shock resulting from injury to the testicles and scrotum. Thus the death is directly due to the injury caused by the Respondent to the deceased.The injury was such that it was sufficient in the normal course to cause death. The injury resulted in death.

Supreme court held - "The injury caused was not even a simple injury. Section 323 would be wholly inapplicable. This was a case where the conviction should have been under Section 302 IPC. In any event, this was a case where the High Court would never have interfered with the conviction under Section 304 (Part-II) IPC. As stated hereinabove, the trial Court has, in our view, already been too lenient. However, as the State has chosen not to file any appeal against the judgment of the trial Court, we do not propose to interfere with the conviction and sentence as imposed by the trial Court." conviction under 304 part 2 by trial court was restored.

Bombay High Court

Government Of Bombay vs Abdul Wahab on 17 September, 1945

The line between culpable homicide not amounting to murder and grievous hurt is a very thin and subtle one. In the one case the injuries must be such as are likely to cause death ; in the other, the injuries must be such as endanger life. Thus hurt which endangers life is of lesser degree than injuries which are likely to cause death.

IN Re Guruvulu (1945) Mad 73 - in this case accused cut both the nostrils of the deceased , and took certain jewels .It was found that there was neither intention nor knowledge to cause death , accused was liable for 325 IPC.

Mansharam v. state of MP (1990 Cr. Lj 35)

accused gave only one lathi blow causing fracture of the skull , resulting in death of the victim . Injury was held to be grievous hurt . Conviction was under 325 IPC.

Allahabad High Court

Kure And Ors. vs Emperor on 17 April, 1918

The question of the hurt caused to the girl Kesi was in issue . Defence's case is that she happened to be sitting with her father and uncle when an attack was made upon them by the accused and that one or more of the accused must have hit her on the head in the course of the affray , however it was not the intention of the accused persons to hit her.

Court held, " I must take it that the man who struck these blows had no intention of causing this girl's death, or of causing injury likely to result in her death or any knowledge that he was likely to do so. The question is whether the provisions of Section 301 of the Indian Penal Code can be applied to the established facts so as to make the appellants, or any of them, guilty of, the offence of culpable homicide by reason of the injuries suffered by this child. I must take it that she was hit by blows intended for some other person and the question is as to the intention or knowledge with which those blows were struck. I think it may fairly be inferred that persons striking out violently with lathis in the course of a fight of this sort may be presumed to intend to cause at least grievous hurt, if grievous hurt actually results from the blows inflicted by them. Referring back to the provisions of Section 321 of the Indian Penal Code, and reading that section in connection with the one which immediately follows, it is obvious that the guilt of an accused person remains just the same whether in seeking to inflict simple hurt or grievous hurt, as the case may be, upon one person, he actually causes the intended hurt to that person or to some other. I think, therefore, that the appellants must be held guilty under the provisions of Section 325 read with those of Section 149 of the Indian Penal Code of having caused grievous hurt to the girl Kesi. "

Allahabad High Court

Raghubir vs State on 31 July, 1956

It appears that the appellant went armed with a lathi to the house of Chhidda and there was an exchange of hot words between the two. The appellant raised his lathi to strike at Chhidda but Chhida's wife, who was holding her infant daughter Mangali in her lap, intervened so that the lathi blow aimed at Chhidda struck Mangali and caused the child to die instantaneously.

In these circumstances, there is no doubt that the appellant neither intended to kill Mangali nor did he know himself to be likely to cause the death of the child.

Court held :- "In this connection the circumstances that are to be borne in mind are that the appellant behaved in a most aggressive manner in having gone to the house of Chhidda armed with a lathi in order to chastise him for his having refused to work for him, and that the appellant had given a beating to Chhidda a day previously also on his having made a similar refusal. The appellant appears to have been possessed by the atavistic tyranny complex of the Zamindar against the riaya.. In the result, therefore, while the appeal is allowed to this extent that the conviction of the appellant is altered from one under Section 304 into one under Section 325, I. P. C., it is dismissed so far as the sentence of five years' R. I. and Rs, 200/- fine, or six months' further R. I. in default of payment of fine, is concerned."

(I must mention that if an accused in course of an altercation with a woman who is carrying an infant in her arms , inflict violent blows on her . This act will also be a rash and negligent act if , the blows hit the child and causes his death even , though those blows inflicted on the woman would've only caused simple hurt . So in this scenario 304A conviction can be maintained as well. However , if blows are violent enough to kill the woman , then knowledge would be attributed to the accused , and then he will be convicted under 304 part II . )

(In Darya Singh & others vs. State of Punjab. Air 1965 sc 328, a Bench of three Judges (Gajendragadkar, Wanchoo and Dasgupta, jj) has observed that in murder cases it is primarily for the prosecutor to decide which witness he should examine in order to unfold the prosecution story. " If a large number of persons have witnesses the incident it would be open to prosecutor to make a selection of those witnesses, but the selection must be made fairly and honestly and not with a view to suppress inconvenient from the witness box." )

Supreme Court of India

Harapal Singh vs Devinder Sing & ... on 9 July, 1997

At about 1,30 p.m. Jasbir Singh and Harpal Singh (PW-3) who was studying in the first semester of M.A.(English)- and Randeep Rana (who was the Secretary of the students Union to which Jasbir Singh belonged were standing outside the canteen of Nar Hari hostel. Suddenly Himat (A-9) caught hold of Jasbir Singh and then Satparkash (A-6) slapped a knife blow on the left chest of Jasbir singh which was followed by Satbir Singh (A-1) inflicting another knife blow on the left side of his chest. When Sumer Singh (PW-6) intervened, presumably to rescue his colleague, he was prevented from nearing the victim by Jeevan Singh (A-8) and Sandhip Singh (A-10). But right at a that time Devinder Singh (A-5) gave a stab injury on Sumer Singh on his front costal margin. The other assailants also attacked the deceased with iron rods, clubs, and hockey sticks etc. Jasbir Singh breathed his last very soon. but Sumer Singh did not die as he was operated upon emergently at the post Graduate Institute of Medical Education, Chandigarh which saved his life.

Supreme Court held - "A-9 made a clarion call to his companions to attack jasbir Singh and thereupon A-6 and A-1 inflicted stab injuries on the chest of the deceased. A-5 has inflicted grievous hurt on the costal margin of Sumer Singh. A-1 and A-6 have acted conjointly with the common intention to murder Jasbir singh.

We convict A-1 and A-6 under Section 302 read with Section 34 of the IPC and sentence each to imprisonment for life. We convict A-5 under Section 326 of the IPC and sentence him to rigorous imprisonment for five years. We also convict A-9 under Section 326 read with Section 34 of the IPC and sentence him to rigorous imprisonment for five years."

Hooch tragedies :-

Supreme Court of India

E.K. Chandrasenan vs The State Of Kerala on 17 January, 1995

Here is a case in which the festive day of Onam 1982 brought disaster to many families inasmuch as the prosecution case is that 70 persons died after having consumed liquor from the shops and sub-shops which were catered by the firm named "Bee Vee Liquors" and 24 lost eye sights permanently, not to speak of many others who became prey of lesser injuries. The joyous day of Onam (1st September, 1982) thus became a day of disaster to hundreds of families.

in the present case what was mixed was not "spirit" but, , poisonous substance, as is methyl alcohol. The percentage of methyl found in the liquor supplied by the firm being what was found to be, it has to be held that the persons responsible for mixing had the knowledge that the consumption of the liquor was likely to cause very serious adverse effect. The contention that all the consumers were not adversely effected cannot water down the mens rea required to bring home the guilt under section 326. The accused was sentenced to life imprisonment under section 326.

Patna High Court

Rambaran Mahton vs The State on 31 October, 1957 AIR 1958 Pat 452

Accused during an altercation with his brother dashed against him , then sat on his stomach and hit him with fists and slaps. The deceased became senseless and died due to ruptured spleen.

Court held , " While Nokhali was lying in such a helpless condition, the appellant, assaulted him recklessly with fists and slaps on every part of his body. This is not all. It appears that the blows must have been given with more than usual force. As will appear from the opinion, of the doctor, three of his ribs were fractured and the spleen was ruptured. It is true that the spleen was in enlarged condition, as stated by the doctor, and it is likely, that even slight force might have resulted in the rupture of the spleen.

But there is absolutely no explanation so far as the fracture of the ribs is concerned. These injuries, in my opinion, could not have been caused unless blows were given to him with great force. There will absolutely no justification for the appellant to strike him with strong fists and slaps when he neither retaliated nor tried to defend himself. If in such circumstances a person belabours a man with fists and slaps, it is I think obvious, as it will be obvious to everybody of ordinary prudence, that grievous hurt would ensue.Further, after Nokhali became senseless, he did not forsake him and leave the place. He stayed on to tend him. The evidence shows that he gave him water to drink and also sprinkled water upon his body in order to bring him to his senses. It is indicative of the fact that remorse eventually overpowered him when passion subsided, and the humane in him triumphed. " Conviction under section 325 followed sentence was reduced to 1 year of rigorous imprisonment .


The heading of the Section provides some insight into the factors to be considered. The essential ingredients to attract Section 326 are : (1) voluntarily causing a hurt; (2) hurt caused must be a grievous hurt; and (3) the grievous hurt must have been caused by dangerous weapons or means. As was noted by APEX Court in State of U.P. v. Indrajeet Alias Sukhatha (2000(7) SCC 249) there is no such thing as a regular or earmarked weapon for committing murder or for that matter a hurt. Whether a particular article can per se cause any serious wound or grievous hurt or injury has to be determined factually. At this juncture, it would be relevant to note that in some provisions e.g. Sections 324 and 326 expression "dangerous weapon" is used. In some other more serious offences the expression used is "deadly weapon" (e.g. Sections 397 and 398). The facts involved in a particular case, depending upon various factors like size, sharpness, would throw light on the question whether the weapon was a dangerous or deadly weapon or not. That would determine whether in the case Section 325 or Section 326 would be applicable.


Supreme Court of India

Laxmi vs Union Of India & Ors [(2014) 4 SCC 427]

The Supreme Court took a quick step to regulate the trading of acid by issuing the subsequent guidelines:

Guidelines for the seller and the Buyer:

1. No acid could be sold to a person below the age of 18 years, further the buyer has to produce photo identity card and mention the purpose for such purchase. The seller has to forward this information to the nearest police station within 3 days.

2. The seller has to submit the report of the stocks of acid to the Sub-divisional magistrate within fifteen days.

3. The Sub-divisional magistrate has the power to confiscate the unreported stocks of acid and can impose the fine to the extent of 50,000 rupees. violation of these directions will attract a prosecution under Poisons Act.

4. Guidelines for research, academic and other institutional purposes:

The usage, purpose, quantity and other credentials has to be recorded in a register that shall be submitted to the Sub-divisional magistrate.

5. There should be an authorized person for the safe handling of acid.

6. The storage of acid will be under scrutiny of a person. Entry and exit of every person shall be recorded.

7. An SOP will also be placed for management and handling of acid.

Apex Court made the further ordered :

A minimum compensation of 3 lakh rupees should be given to the victim.

Hospitals cannot refuse treatment of the victim on account of lack of specialized facilities.

The State Governments and the Central Government shall make efforts to bring private hospitals for following the guidelines issued under the matter.

First Aid treatment should be given immediately to the victim.

No hospital or clinic can deny treatment to the victim and if it does so, shall be made liable under section 357C of Cr.P.C.

The victim shall be given be a medical certificate by a hospital where the initial treatment was provided and the same can be used by the victim for further treatment .


Supreme Court of India

Laxmi vs Union Of India & Ors on 10 April, 2015

1.Insofar as the proper treatment, aftercare and rehabilitation of the victims of acid attack is concerned, the meeting convened on 14.03.2015 notes unanimously that full medical assistance should be provided to the victims of acid attack and that private hospitals should also provide free medical treatment to such victims. It is noted that there may perhaps be some reluctance on the part of some private hospitals to provide free medical treatment and, therefore, the concerned officers in the State Governments should take up the matter with the private hospitals so that they are also required to provide free medical treatment to the victims of acid attack.

2.The decisions taken in the meeting read as follows: The States/UTs will take a serious note of the directions of the Supreme Court with regard to treatment and payment of compensation to acid attack victims and to implement these directions through the issue of requisite orders/notifications.

3.The private hospitals will also be brought on board for compliance and the States/UTs will use necessary means in this regard. No hospital/clinic should refuse treatment citing lack of specialized facilities.

4.First-aid must be administered to the victim and after stabilization, the victim/patient could be shifted to a specialized facility for further treatment, wherever required.

5.Action may be taken against hospital/clinic for refusal to treat victims of acid attacks and other crimes in contravention of the provisions of Section 357C of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

6.We, therefore, issue a direction that the State Governments/Union Territories should seriously discuss and take up the matter with all the private hospitals in their respective State/Union Territory to the effect that the private hospitals should not refuse treatment to victims of acid attack and that full treatment should be provided to such victims including medicines, food, bedding and reconstructive surgeries.

7.We also issue a direction that the hospital, where the victim of an acid attack is first treated, should give a certificate that the individual is a victim of an acid attack. This certificate may be utilized by the victim for treatment and reconstructive surgeries or any other scheme that the victim may be entitled to with the State Government or the Union Territory, as the case may be.

8.In the event of any specific complaint against any private hospital or government hospital, the acid attack victim will, of course, be at liberty to take further action.

9.With regard to the banning of sale of acid across the counter, we direct the Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs and Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to take up the matter with the State Governments/Union Territories to ensure that an appropriate notification to this effect is issued within a period of three months from today. It appears that some States/Union Territories have already issued such a notification, but, in our opinion, all States and Union Territories must issue such a notification at the earliest.

10.The final issue is with regard to the setting up of a Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. In the meeting held on 14.03.2015, the unanimous view was that since the District Legal Services Authority is already constituted in every district and is involved in providing appropriate assistance relating to acid attack victims, perhaps it may not be necessary to set up a separate Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. In other words, a multiplicity of authorities need not be created.

11.In our opinion, this view is quite reasonable. Therefore, in case of any compensation claim made by any acid attack victim, the matter will be taken up by the District Legal Services Authority, which will include the District Judge and such other co-opted persons who the District Judge feels will be of assistance, particularly the District Magistrate, the Superintendent of Police and the Civil Surgeon or the Chief Medical Officer of that District or their nominee. This body will function as the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board for all purposes.

021A. Hurt and grevious hurt
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