COMPLETE EXPLAINATION OF HURT AND GRIEVOUS HURT AS PER INDIAN LAW
In some cases it takes the best criminal lawyer to draw out a distinction between hurt and grievous hurt and establish it in the court of law. Quite apparently, it is on the basis of the gravity of physical assault that it is classified into simple or grievous. Accordingly an accused is punished under law. It however takes genius of nothing less than the best criminal lawyer to establish the distinction in front of the court when instead of simple hurt, a case of grievous hurt is made out against the accused. Our team of best criminal lawyers envision that common man should be equipped with the understanding and the difference so as to avoid getting into frivolous litigations, while at the same time, if they are being implicated frivolously, they shall be aware of their legal rights. This article is attempted in that regard:
LET US STEP BY STEP GO WITH THE BARE PROVISIONS LAID OUT IN THE INDIAN PENAL CODE (IPC)
SECTION 320 OF I.P.C
The only following kinds of hurt are considered as grievous:
2. Permanent privation of the sight of either eye.
3. Permanent privation of hearing of either ear.
4. Privation of any member or joint.
5. Destruction or permanent impairing of powers of any member or joint.
6. Permanent disfiguration of head or face.
7. Fracture or dislocation of bone or tooth.
8. Any hurt which endangers life or which causes sufferer to be during the space of 20 days in severe body pain, or unable to follow his ordinary pursuits.
It is clear from the above pointers that only serious kinds of hurt comes under grievous hurt. To constitute the offence, there has to be specific hurt which should have been voluntarily inflicted with an intention to cause hurt as under law both actus-reus (act) and mens-rea (intention) are important to constitute criminality.
Illustration: X gave a kick to Y who had enlarged spleen and as a result the spleen was ruptured and y died. X was held guilty of grievous hurt as in ordinary course of nature, a kick could not kill a person. Even if X intended to cause bodily injury, he cannot be held guilty to cause death if he did not intend to cause death.
INGREDIENTS OF GRIEVOUS HURT:
Emasculation: This clause is confined to males only and means depriving a man of his virility. Emasculation can be caused by variety of ways. The impotency caused must be permanent.
INJURY TO THE EYESIGHT
The second kind of grievous hurt is causing injury to the eyesight. The test of gravity is permanency of injury caused to one or both eyes.
DEPRIVATION OF HEARING
It must be with respect to one or both ears. The deafness must be permanent.
DEPRIVATION OF ANY MEMBER OR JOINT
Causing loss of limb or of a joint is the fourth kind of grievous hurt. It must be a lifelong misery that should have been caused. The term member means an organ or limb and the word deprivation means permanent loss.
PERMANENT IMPAIRING OF ANY MEMBER OR JOINT
Destruction or permanent impairing of any member or joint falls under the scope of this section. A temporary injury does not come under this section. The injury should be such that it causes permanent disability.
PERMANENT DISFIGURATION OF HEAD OR FACE
In the sixth clause the word used is disfiguration. It is different from disability. Disfiguring basically moans to cause some external injury which affects person’s appearance. It can make person unattractive or disfigured though internally it may not affect him. Whereas, disability is something that impairs the functioning of organs. In case of Gangaram Vs. State of Rajasthan, by a sharp edged weapon the bridge of the nose was cut. This amounted to permanent disfiguration within the purview of this section and hence it was observed as grievous injury.
FRACTURE OR DISLOCATION OF A BONE OR TOOTH
According to this clause there may or may not be any kind of permanent disability. There is no definition of word fracture in the code. The injury is said to be grievous because of the suffering or disability that it causes. So it may vary from case to case. Any injury should be grave enough to attract this clause. Mere abrasion or hurt on the upper surface of the skin does not amount to grievous hurt. Even fracture should extend to the inner surface. The kind of injury caused can be inferred from the facts of the case. In Mokkasamy’s case it was held that an act which causes just abrasion or cut and does not break bone cannot be said to be fracture and does not attract this clause. Similar findings were made in case of Hiralal Vs. State of U.P. Thus it basically depends on the gravity of injury caused that whether it can be classified as grievous hurt or not. In case of State of Punjab vs. Naib Singh” it was observed that even a partial cut of skull vault may amount to fracture within the meaning of this clause.
ANY HURT WHICH ENDANGERS LIFE OR WHICH CAUSES SUFFERER TO BE DURING THE SPACE OF 20 DAYS IN SEYERE BODY PAIN I.E. DANGEROUS HURT
The clause 8 of section 320 refers to three kinds of injuries which are not covered within any of the aforesaid clauses. They are:
a. Which endangers life
b. which causes the sufferer to remain in severe bodily pain for more than 20 days;
c. Which unable the sufferer to follow his ordinary pursuits for more than 20 days.
This clause has been borrowed from French Penal Code and is explained as under:
Hurt which endangers life – Any injury that may put the life of the injured in danger is said to be hurt that endangers life. There is a difference between ‘injury that endangers life’ and ‘injury likely to cause death’ of a person. It may sound confusing to a layman but to a good lawyer, the difference is quite realistic from the purview of mens-rea and actus-reus. If the injury inflicted is likely to cause death of a person it is punishable under Section 304, I.P.C and any injury that endangers life is punishable under Section 325 of I.P.C.
ln case of Muhammad Rafeez, the accused inflicted an injury on neck of the deceased with penknife from behind and was convicted by the Session’s Court under Section 304(II), I.P.C for culpable homicide not amounting to murder. The tragedy had taken place due to quarrel between the two boys over a petty amount of fifty paisa. The deceased was taken to the hospital and died fifteen days later due to septic poisoning from the wound. The Lahore High Court held the accused liable under Section 322, of I.P.C for causing death by grievous hurt as the wound on neck is dangerous to life within the meaning of clause 8 of section 320 of the lndian Penal Code.
Furthermore, in case of Emperor v. ldu Begam, the husband while engaged in a verbal wrangle with his wife struck her a blow on left side of the face with a great force, as a result of which she bled from nose and died within an hour. Held, the accused was liable for voluntary causing grievous hurt and not culpable homicide not amounting to murder as he had no intention to cause death. It takes the genius of a great lawyer to prove in such cases that the intention to murder wasn’t there.
Hurt which causes sufferer to be during the space of 20 days in severe bodily pain: This clause includes such internal and external injuries inflicted on the victim with an intention to hurt that there arises incapacitation of the victim for a minimum period of twenty days because of severe bodily pain. The Indian Penal Code designated such hurt as grievous though they might not be necessarily dangerous to life. Both the extent of hurt and the intention of the offender are taken into consideration.
Hurt which causes sufferer to be during the space of 20 days unable to follow its ordinary pursuits:
It is important to mention that during the space of 20 days the victim should be unable to carry on his pursuits. In case of Q.E v. Vasta it was observed that merely remaining in hospital for a period of 20 days and not attending the normal duty during that time is not sufficient to prove accused guilty of grievous hurt. For the matter of this clause, the onus of proving that victim was impaired from performing day today pursuits falls on the prosecution and it shall be accompanied with justifiable reasons which court considers as valid. In case of Jagannath v. State of U.P. it was held that it is not legally necessary that the injured must get himself admitted in the hospital. So, it is only the hurt caused to the sufferer due to which he is unable to follow his ordinary pursuits that will be designated as grievous. In case of Mohindar Singh v. Emperor the accused inflicted a wound on victim’s leg with a. sharp-edged weapon (gandasa – sickle) and gave him blows on 22nd August, 1922. Tetanus set in on 31st August causing his death. It was held that a wound in the leg was not in itself sufficiently dangerous to bring the case within meaning of grievous hurt when death resulted due to tetanus which supervened and resulted in the death of the deceased. Act neither intended nor likely to cause death, may amount to grievous hurt, though death is caused. Where there is no intention to cause death or no knowledge that death is likely to be caused from the harm inflicted, the accused would be guilty of grievous hurt if injury caused was of serious nature but not culpable homicide. In case of Guruvulu, the accused while stealing jewels out of the nostrils of the lady, cut them to facilitate theft. This resulted in her death due to unexpected shock. It was held that the accused was guilty under section 325, I.P.C and not for murder. The accused was not aware that the death was likely to be caused from the harm inflicted. In E.K Chandrasenan v. State of Kerala, the arrack supplied was mixed with methyl alcohol resulting in many deaths. The Court concluded that the person responsible for mixing had knowledge that consumption of such substance was likely to cause serious adverse effects. Some of victims lost eyesight. The Court said maximum sentence under the section was properly awarded. Also in case of Empress v. O’Brien, X gave a kick to Y who had enlarged spleen, As a result of kick the spleen was ruptured and Y died. X was held guilty of grievous hurt as in the ordinary course of nature; a kick would not kill a person in ordinary state of health. Even if X intended to cause bodily injury, he is not guilty of murder, if he did not intend to cause death or such bodily injury likely to cause death. But if he knew that Y had an enlarged spleen and that a kick on it was likely to cause death, and kicked him with an intention of causing bodily injury, he would be guilty of murder.
Section 322 of Indian Penal Code: 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 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. Illustration: A, intending or knowing himself to be likely permanently disfigures 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 space of twenty days. A has voluntarily caused grievous hurt. Punishment for causing grievous hurt has been mentioned in Section 325 of Indian Penal Code. It states “Whoever voluntarily causes grievous hurl shall be punished with imprisonment of either a description of which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine.”
Basic ingredients of Section 325:
1. The accused caused the hurt.
2. The hurt was grievous as specified in Section 320; and the hurt was caused voluntarily. The offence is cognizable, bailable, compoundable and triable by any Magistrate. Punishment may extend to imprisonment up to seven years and fine. Grievous hurt can be caused voluntarily by dangerous weapons or means.
3. Section 326 : Whoever, except in case provided by section 335, voluntarily causes grievous hurt by means of an instrument for shooting, stabbing or cutting, or any instrument which is used as a weapon of offence, is likely to cause death, or by means of fire or any heated substance, or by means of poison or any corrosive substance, or by means of any explosive substance, or by means of any substance which is deleterious to human body to inhale, to swallow, or to receive into the blood, or by means of an animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description of a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.
1. The accused caused grievous hurt voluntarily.
2. It was caused by means of shooting, stabbing, cutting etc.
In State of Punjab v. Surjan Singh, the accused in course of Iight left the place of incident, brought an axe and inflicted a blow on the head of the injured. Thus, he was liable under Section 326 of the I.P.C. Section 329: Voluntary causing grievous hurt to extort property, or to constraint to an illegal act. Whoever voluntarily causes grievous hurt for the purpose of extorting from the sufferer or from any person interested in the sufferer any property or valuable security, or of constraining the sufferer or any person interested in the sufferer to do anything that is illegal or which may facilitate the commission of the offence, shall be punished with imprisonment for life or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years and shall also be liable for a fine.
In case of Virendra Kumar v. State of M.P, the complainant was stabbed with knife to extort money. The accused were held liable under this Section.
Section 333: 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 offence under this section is an aggravate form of the offence mentioned under Section 332, I.P.C. In P. Balaraman v. State of T.N, the accused attacked and injured the district Munsif while in travel because he had delivered a judgement against him. Thus he was held liable under this section.
Section 335: Voluntarily causing grievous hurt on provocation. Whoever voluntarily causes grievous hurt on grave and sudden provocation, if he neither intends or knows himself to be likely to cause grievous hurt to any person other than the person who gave provocation, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to four years or with a fine which may extend to two thousand rupees, or with both.
1. The accused voluntarily caused grievous hurt.
2. The accused did it under grave and sudden provocation; and
3. The accused neither intended nor did himself knew it to be likely to cause grievous hurt to any person other than the provoker.
Section 338: Causing grievous hurt by an act which endangers life or personal safety of others – Whoever causes grievous hurt to any person by doing an 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 a fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.
1. The accused acted rashly or negligently;
2. The act endangered human life or the personal safety of others; and
3. Such act caused grievous hurt.
In State of H.P Vs. Man Singh, the driver due to his inattention and failure to apply brakes pressed a person against the wall. He was held to have committed offence under this section as well as under s279. Thus, grievous hurt can be caused voluntarily as well as negligently.