WHAT IS HURT?

INTRODUCTION

We have seen people using the word ‘Hurt’ so casually and all of us have own way of understanding it and putting it. In Indian penal code we have separate section to define what is hurt? and who is called hurt?

Normally it is used as pain caused emotionally and physically. In Indian penal code, according to law of crimes when we accuse someone for the hurt caused, what condition does it fill, is it similar to the daily usage or is it different? and what are the provisions and explanation given to support it? and case laws related to it is what we are going find in this Article.

MEANING

Hurt in normal sense- A physical or Emotional damage caused to a person.

HURT IN INDIAN PENAL CODE

Hurt (Section 319):
Whoever causes bodily pain, disease or infirmity to any person is said to cause hurt.
To constitute hurt (battery under English Law) any of the
following essentials needs to be caused:-

  1. Bodily pain, or
  2. Disease, or
  3. Infirmity to another

EXPLANATION

a) Bodily Pain

To cause hurt, there need not be any direct physical contact. Where the direct result of an
act is causing of bodily pain it is hurt whatever be the means employed to cause it. Hurt
is constituted by causing bodily pain, not mental pain.

The expression ‘bodily pain’ means that the pain must be physical as opposed to any mental
pain. So mentally or emotionally hurting somebody will not be ‘hurt’ within the meaning of
Section 319. However, 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 pain. The degree or severity of the pain
is not a material factor to decide whether Section 319 will apply or not. The duration of pain is
immaterial. Pulling a woman by the hair would amount to hurt.

b) Disease

A person communicating a particular disease to another would be guilty of hurt.

‘Causing disease’ means communicating a disease to another person. However, the
communication of the disease must be done by contact.
Causing of nervous shock or mental derangement by some voluntary act of the offender is
covered by Section 319. The duration of the state of mental infirmity is immaterial.

c) Infirmity to another

It means the inability of an organ to perform its normal function which may either be
temporary or permanent. It denotes a temporary mental impairment, hysteria or terror.
Hurt resulting in Death: Where there is no intention to cause death, or no knowledge
that death is likely to be caused, and death is caused, the accused will be guilty of ‘hurt’
only if the injuries are not serious in nature.

‘Infirmity’ means inability of an organ to perform its normal function which may either be
temporary or permanent. It denotes an unsound or unhealthy state of the body or mind, such as a
state of temporary impairment or hysteria or terror. ‘Infirmity’ denotes an unsound or unhealthy
state of the body. This infirmity may be a result of a disease or as a result of consumption of some poisonous, inimical drug or alcohol.

CASE LAWS

In Marana Goundan v. R the accused demanded money from the deceased which the
latter owed him. The deceased promised to pay later. Thereafter the accused kicked him on the
abdomen and the 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.
In Naga Shevepo v. R [(1883) SJLB 179] the accused struck a man one blow on the head with a
bamboo yoke and the injured man died afterwards in a hospital. He was guilty of an offence of
causing hurt under Section 319 because there was no intention to cause death and the blow in
itself was not of such a nature as was likely to cause death itself was not of such a nature as was
In Arjuna Sahu v. State it was observed that a push on the neck is likely to cause some bodily
pain within the meaning of Section 319 though in some cases it may be so slight.
Self-inflicted hurt does not come within the purview of Section 319. Section 321 elaborates on
what amounts to voluntarily causing hurt
When there is no intention of causing death or bodily injury as is likely to cause death,
and there is no knowledge that inflicting such injury would cause death, the accused would be
guilty of hurt if the injury is not serious. In Nga Shwe Po’s case (1883), the accused struck a man
one blow on the head with a bamboo yoke and the injured man died, primarily due to excessive
opium administered by his friends to alleviate pain. He was held guilty under this section.
A physical contact is not necessary. Thus, a when an accused gave food mixed with dhatura and
caused poisoning, he was held guilty of Hurt.

CONCLUSION

The Hurt concept in IPC is a very interesting one, I got to learn may aspects of the when I did the research. I hope this article will give the readers what they were looking for. Law of crimes is interesting for its way of giving us the new dimension of what we go through in common usage. The term ‘Simple hurt’ is used nowhere in the IPC. However, to differentiate ordinary hurt
covered by Sections 319, 321 & 323, from that of grievous hurt, the expression ‘simple hurt’ has
come into popular use.

REFERENCE

criminal law by K. I. Vibhute, ISBN no.- 10938854839 , The Indian Penal Code Bare Act.

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