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Hurt And Grievous Hurt: A Comparative Analysis

Hurt And Grievous Hurt - Definition

The Indian Penal Code, 1860 (hereinafter as IPC) classifies hurt broadly into:
  • Hurt, and
  • Grievous hurt
Section 319 to Section 388 of The Indian Penal Code explicitly provides for meaning and explanation for hurt and grievous hurt and its various forms.

Section-319 Of IPC - Hurt:

It defines "Hurt- Whoever causes bodily pain, disease or infirmity to any person is said to cause hurt." It covers only physical pain and not mental pain.

The concept of hurt is different from grievous hurt in the following ways:
The injuries caused in grievous hurt are specific in nature like emasculation, loss of sight, loss of limb, fracture, disfiguration etc. whereas the injuries caused in section 319 ie. hurt are just covered by bodily pain, disease and infirmity.
  1. Physical Pain:
    There need not be any direct physical touch in order to damage someone. Whatever the means used to generate it, it hurts when an act's immediate effect is the infliction of bodily pain. It is physical pain, not mental suffering, that defines hurt.

    In cases where a person died as a result of two kicks to the abdomen, the accused was found guilty of inflicting hurt only in the absence of an intent to cause death or serious bodily harm.

  2. Diseases:
    A person would be guilty of injury if they spread a specific ailment to another. The Bombay High Court ruled in Raka vs Emperor[1], that a prostitute who had sex with the complainant and thereby transmitted syphilis, making them accountable under section 269 of the IPC for propagation of disease rather than causing harm, as the time between the deed and the sickness was too far away to be affected by IPC sections 319 and 321.

  3. Infirmity:
    It refers to an organ's inability to carry out its typical function, which may be either temporary or permanent. It indicates frenzy, fright, or a momentary mental impairment.

  4. Harm resulting in Death:
    The accused will only be found guilty of "hurt" if the injuries were not significant in nature and there was no intent to cause death or knowledge that death was likely to be caused.

Section 320 Of IPC -Grievous Hurt:
The code has divided harm into two categories, simple and severe, based on the seriousness of the physical attack, so that the accused can receive punishment that is appropriate for his guilt.

Only the following types of harm are classified as Grievous:
  1. To start with, emasculation.
  2. Second, the permanent loss of vision in either eye.
  3. Thirdly: Permanent deprivation of either ear's hearing.
  4. Fourthly: Privatization of any joint or member.
  5. Fifthly: Permanently destroying or limiting the authority of any member or joint.
  6. Sixthly: Permanent face- or head-disfigurement.
  7. Seventhly: Bone or tooth fracture or dislocation.
  8. Eighthly.: Any injury that puts a person's life in peril, renders them unable to engage in their regular activities for a period of twenty days, or causes them to experience extreme physical discomfort.
Section 320 defines eight types of harm as grievous and offers more severe penalties in these circumstances. In order to establish the crime of causing great harm, there must be some specific harm that was purposefully caused and must fall under one of the eight categories this section's list of.
  1. Manslaughter:
    This restriction only applies to men. It refers to robbing a man of his masculine vigour, rendering him impotent. To stop the practise that is prevalent, this clause was added.In this country, it is common for women to crush the testicles of men without warning.
  2. Damage to Vision: The severity of the injury to one or both eyes serve as a gauge of gravity.
  3. Hearing Impairment: Either one or both ears may be involved. The deafness that this clause attracted must be long-lasting.
  4. Loss of a Joint or Limb: Deprivation of any member, segment, or join, crippling a man with lifelong misery, is the expression used in this section. The word "member" is only used to refer to a limb or an organ.
  5. Limb Deterioration: As discussed in the sixth sentence, disabling can be distinguished from disfiguring. to mutilate meaning to harm someone externally in a way that is detrimental to their look. Maybe it won't make him weak. On the other hand, to disable is to take action that results in not only a short-term injury, but a permanent disability.
  6. Permanent facial or head disfigurement: In the case of Ganga Ram v. State of Rajasthan[2], The injury was severe since the act amounted to permanent disfigurement within the meaning of this article, despite the fact that the inner wall of the nostrils had grown back to its original state after the woman's nose was cut by a sharp object.
  7. Bone or teeth fracture or dislocation:
    A fracture must reach the inner surface in order to fall under this provision. If the action leads to only when there is an abrasion and the bone is not broken will there be a fracture.
  8. Perilous Injury:
    A person is injured when the physical discomfort they experience lasts for 20 days or longer. Person must be unable to pursue his usual interests.

Grievous Hurt resulting in Death

In the instance of severe injury, the harm only poses a threat to life; but, in the case of culpable homicide that does not constitute murder, the harm is likely to result in death. The difference The line between culpable homicide and serious harm is quite thin. When the evidence demonstrates that the attackers' purpose was to kill, the case should be covered under section 302 rather than section 325.

Government of Bombay vs Abdul Wahab[3], The court noted that there is a very fine line between grave harm and culpable homicide that does not amount to murder. In one scenario, the injuries must be such that they pose a death risk, whereas in the other scenario, they put lives in danger.

Voluntarily causing Hurt: Section 321

Whoever commits any act with the knowledge that he is likely to inflict harm on another person as a result of that act and actually does so it is said: "To intentionally inflict harm to somebody."

Voluntarily causing Grievous Hurt: Section 322

Anyone who maliciously causes harm must be aware of his or her intent before doing so.

He is believed to be prone to cause terrible injury, and if he does, it is claimed that the harm he produces is serious hurt.

"willfully causing great harm."

Explanation: A person is not considered to have caused grievous harm intentionally unless he also knows or intends that he will likely cause grievous harm in the future.

However, he is said to have intentionally or knowingly caused great harm if he knew it was likely to happen.

He actually commits terrible harm of a different sort in order to cause grievous harm of the first kind.

Illustration: A intentionally or knowingly causes irreversible facial disfigurement to Z by giving him a blow that does not permanently alter Z's facial features but leaves Z with severe 20 days of physical suffering. A intentionally injure someone else.

The penalty for intentionally inflicting harm is either imprisonment of any sort for a time that may extend to one year, a fine that may reach to one thousand rupees, or both, except in the circumstances described in Section 334.

Voluntarily Causing Hurt By Dangerous Weapons Or Means: Section 324

Unless specifically exempted by Section 334, whomever intentionally harms another person with a weapon designed for shooting, stabbing, or cutting, or a weapon that can be used as a weapon, a deadly weapon, or one that uses fire or another heated material as its primary mode of delivery, or using a poison, acid, or other caustic chemical, or using an explosive a substance or by using a substance that is harmful to the body of a human breathing, swallowing, receiving into the blood, or using any animal are prohibited, penalised with a term of up to three years in jail under any category a fine for years, or both.


Except in the circumstances described in Section 335, those who intentionally cause great bodily harm are subject to fines and imprisonment of either kind for terms that may reach seven years.

Voluntarily Causing Grievous Hurt By Dangerous Weapons Or Means: Section 326:

Unless specifically exempted by Section 335, anybody who intentionally causes serious harm to another person by using a firearm, knife, or other tool that has the potential to kill, or by using fire or another heated object corrosive substance, or by using any poisonous or toxic substance, or by using any explosive substance, or using any substance that is harmful to humans, body to ingest, inhale, or take in through the blood, or using any animal, shall be punished by life in prison, or with any type of prison sentence for a sentence that might last up to ten years, as well as being subject to a fine.

Punishment for causing severe harm:- A sufficient sentence must be given for causing great harm. The severity of the crime should also be taken into account.

Sumer Singh v. Surajbhan Singh[4], Right of private defence - Exercise of - Right of private defence claim made in connection with an offence under Section 326 of the Penal Code of 1860 - Whether claim is based on facts Land dispute: Appellant, who had legal possession of the land, and other PWs were peacefully conducting agricultural activities there without using any weapons when respondent-accused and others arrived.

They attacked the appellant party with their various weapons while carrying swords and lathis. In contrast to the defendant-accused, who suffered only minor wounds, the appellant suffered severe injuries and others were hurt by sharp objects, making the defendant's conviction under S. 326 reasonable on the basis of the evidence.

Voluntarily causing grievous hurt by use of acid, etc.: Section 326-A

Any person who administers acid to another person, throws acid on them, or employs any other method to burn, maim, disfigure, or otherwise incapacitates another person or causes great bodily harm is guilty of this crime with the knowledge that he is likely to cause such harm, either intentionally or accidentally, anyone who causes harm will be punished with imprisonment of any kind for a duration that will not be less than ten years, with a maximum sentence of life in prison and a fine: As long as the fine is fair and sufficient to cover the victim's medical costs, Care given to the victim: Furthermore, any fine imposed in accordance with this clause must be paid to the victim.

Acid Attack: Given the gravity of the offence, the High Court's reduction of the sentence to the time already served, which was just 30 days, was deemed unjustified, and as a result, the trial court's one-year sentence was ordered to be reinstated.

Furthermore, because the assault left some of her physical parts disfigured, the defendant instructed to pay Rs. 50,000 as compensation, and the State instructed to pay 3 lakh rupees in compensation.

Ravad Sasikala vs State of AP[5], According to the Supreme Court, the specific case is an illustration of an unsophisticated and cruel crime committed by the accused. It is wholly wrong to even consider leniency in the case of such a crime.

Such crimes should not be pardoned in any way because they are both personally and socially abhorrent. There was no basis to reduce the sentence to the time already served when there was medical proof that the small child had been attacked with acid, the circumstances had been brought home by compelling evidence, and the conviction had been upheld.

The Supreme Court has overturned the High Court's ruling and reinstated the Trial Court's sentence. The Court further mandated that the state and the defendants each pay compensation of Rs. 3 lakhs and Rs. 50,000, respectively. It was further ordered that, in addition to the punishment already given by the trial court, the accused would also face further six months of harsh jail if he failed to pay the reparation amount within the allotted six months.

Additional Sections On Hurt And Grievous Hurt:
  • Section 326-B - Willfully trying or hurling acid.
  • Section 327 - Willfully inflicting harm in order to extort money or coerce someone to commit a crime.
  • Section 328 of the Indian Penal Code - prohibits intentionally employing poison or other harmful substances to cause harm conduct a crime.
  • Section 329 - Intentionally inflicting great bodily harm to obtain property or coerce the performance of an unlawful act.
  • Section 330 - Willfully inflicting harm to elicit a confession or to enforce the return of the property.
  • Section 331 - Intentionally inflicting great harm to obtain a confession or demand the return of that place.
  • Section 332 - Intentionally hurting someone to keep a public servant from performing their duties.
  • Section 333 - Willfully causing great harm in order to prevent a public official from doing their duties.
  • Sections 334 and 335 - Refer to the voluntary infliction of harm in response to provocation, respectively.
  • Section 336 - Act endangering the life or personal safety of others.
  • Section 337 - Hurting someone else while putting their life or personal safety in danger.
  • Section 338 - Causing Great Harm by Endangering Others' Life or Personal Safety.

There is no requirement in section 319 of the IPC that the victim and accused make immediate physical contact for the injury to occur. However, the pain must be physical rather than psychological and can be brought on by any means. Any harm may only be deemed grave under section 320 if it poses a risk to life. A minor injury cannot be considered severe only because it affects a sensitive area of the body near the heart, unless the doctor determines that the patient's life is truly in risk as a result of the damage's size, scope, or effects.

Since no one is untouched from such hurt and grievous hurt, it becomes important to know about their ins-and-outs.

  • The Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) as amended by The Jammu and Kashmir Re-organisation Act, 2019 (34 of 2019) (w.e.f. 31-10-2019) by Lexis Nexis
  1. Raka vs Emperor 1887 ILR 11 Bom 59.
  2. Ganga Ram v. State of Rajasthan 1984 Cr LJ (NOC) 180 (Raj).
  3. Government of Bombay vs Abdul Wahab, AIR 1946 Bom. 38.
  4. Sumer Singh v. Surajbhan Singh, (2014) 7 SCC 323.
  5. Ravad Sasikala vs State of AP, 2017 SCC Online SC 175.

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