At the moment, a significant portion of criminal cases in India, more precisely in the Courts of Judicial Magistrate, are ‘Hurt’ cases. For instance, violations of Sections 323, 324, and 326 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. Without these cases, there is no criminal court. ‘Hurt’ is also referred to as effect damage, prompt torment, injury, debilitate, wound, cripple, and weaken. In other terms, it means ‘to be unfavourable to’. When a definition uses the action word “wounds,” it does not distinguish between harm of “simple nature” and damage of “grievous character.” The framers believed it was difficult to establish a boundary between considerable damages that are serious in nature and minor damages. They assert that drawing such a line with such accuracy was impossible. As a result, some types of hurt are designated as grievous.
What are the types of Hurt
Hurt is defined under Section 319 of the Indian Penal Code. Causing Hurt is defined as the act of inflicting bodily pain, sickness, or disability on another person. It is limited to physical pain and excludes mental anguish. By infirmity, we imply that one or more organs are unable to perform their regular functions. This disability may be transient or permanent. This type of injury is punished under Indian Penal Code section 323(1).
The Indian Penal Code’s Section 321 is an expansion of Section 319. It discusses the definition of ‘intentionally inflicting harm’. It defines it as “whoever commits any act with the goal of inflicting injury to another person, or with the knowledge that he is likely to cause harm to another person, and does so deliberately to cause harm to another person.” To establish an offence under section 321, the element of mens rea must be established.
To constitute simple pain, one or more of the following must be present:
• Physical Discomfort
• Infirmity in relation to another
In the case of State vs. Ramesh Dass, (2015 Central District Delhi), in a hospital, while travelling through the hallway to the new surgical block site, an unidentified public citizen approached the woman from the front. That person yanked her hair and hurled her to the ground. He smacked her on the head with his fist. Accused was found guilty of violating Sections 341 and 323 of the IPC but acquitted of violating Section 354 of the IPC.
Hurt occur when an individual transmits a sickness or disease to another by contact. However, the concept is ambiguous when it comes to the transfer of sexually transmitted diseases from one people to another. For instance, a prostitute who had sexual relations with another person and therefore transmitted syphilis was charged under Section 269 of the IPC for spreading infection but not for inflicting harm since the period between the act and the illness was too long to trigger Section 319 of the IPC.
In Raka vs. Emperor(2), the defendant was a prostitute who infected her patrons with syphilis. It was determined that the prostitute was guilty under Section 269 of the IPC for doing a careless conduct likely to transmit infection of any illness threatening to another person’s life.
Intention or awareness is a critical component in inflicting harm on another person. A person who intends to give shock to someone with a weak heart and succeeds is considered to have caused harm. Any bodily discomfort caused by capsule management may be protected as ‘injury’. While the injury is not necessarily severe and there is no intent to cause death or great bodily harm, the accused may be convicted of causing the greatest amount of harm, regardless of whether death occurs.
Section 321 of the IPC defines willingly inflicting damage as “whoever conducts any act with the aim of causing injury to any person, or with the knowledge that he is likely to cause harm to any person, and does so freely to cause harm to any person.” What defines a particular offence is determined by the nature of the act committed (actus reus), but also by the nature of the intent or knowledge with which it is committed (mens rea). Section 319 described the actus reus that might create the offence of intentionally inflicting injury, punished under Section 323, and Section 321 defines the mens rea required to constitute that offence. Both the objective and the information must be established. The person who is truly harmed does not necessarily wish to be the one who is supposed to be harmed. Section 321 specifies the circumstances that imbue the conduct with elements of criminal behaviour, so elevating it to the level of an offence.
In Marana Goundan v. R(3), the defendant requested money from the deceased. The dead pledged to make restitution later. Following that, the defendant kicked him in the abdomen, causing the dead to collapse and die. The accused was found guilty of inflicting harm since there was no evidence that he intended or understood that kicking at the abdomen would endanger his life.
The Law Commission recommends in its 237th report that Section 324 IPC be incorporated into Section 320 CrPC and that it retain its distinct status. Medical narrative confirmations, for example, medico-legal reports on damages prepared by restorative specialists, are critical for courts when establishing legal determinations. The kind of wounds and weapons, legal categories of damages, and their ages must all be specified properly in damage reports: Medicolegal preparation and encounters strengthen the restorative master observers’ capacities.
1) 1887 ILR 11 Bom 59
2) AIR 1941 Mad. 560
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