Indian Penal Code

Offence affecting Life – Hurt Part II (Section 326 to Section 338)

The Indian Penal Code, 1860 contains several provisions affecting human life under Chapter 16. Out of these provisions, Sections 319 to Section 338 describe offences relating to hurt. While provisions up to Section 325 describe simple and grievous hurt, provisions after Section 326 relate to other aggravating circumstances. For example, these offences define hurt for extorting property, hurt on provocation, or for deterring public servants, etc.

Section 326

Grievous hurt with weapons (Section 326)

According to Section 320, grievous hurt means hurt which results in certain kinds of specific injuries. These injuries include privation of eyes or ears, damage to joints, emasculation, etc.

Section 326 basically describes an aggravated form of grievous hurt. Under this offence, the grievous hurt must result from instruments of shooting (guns), stabbing or cutting (knives). It can also arise from other weapons which are likely to cause death. Even explosives, poisons, corrosive substances or fires resulting in grievous hurt attract this provision.

Since the chances of grievous injuries are more under these circumstances, the punishment is also more severe. An offender guilty under Section 326 can be punishable with life imprisonment or imprisonment up to 10 years.

Hurt to extort property or constrain illegal acts (Sections 327 & 329)

Under Section 327, committing hurt to extort property or constrain the victim to commit an illegal act is punishable. For example, the offender may beat up a child to force its father to give him money.

The offender may even force the victim or a connected person to commit an illegal act or facilitate an offence. Punishment for Section 327 is imprisonment up to 10 years and fine.

Section 329 is similar to Section 327 with the only difference that it relates to grievous and not simple hurt. The intention of the offender and the punishment for it remains the same as Section 327.

Hurt by poison, etc. for committing an offence (Section 328)

Under this provision, the offender must administer poison or some other stupefying, intoxicating or unwholesome drug to the victim. The offender must do so with the intention of causing hurt or for committing or facilitating an offence. Such intention is important and no offence arises without it. Punishment for Section 328 includes imprisonment up to 10 years with fine.

Hurt to extort confessions or cause restoration or property (Sections 330 & 331)

Under Section 330, the offender causes hurt for extorting a confession or information relating to an offence or misconduct. This generally applies to police officers who harm accused persons to force them to confess. The extortion on the victim can also happen to extort such confession or information from another person.

This hurt can also take place for the purpose of constraining the victim to restore some property or valuable security. For example, a revenue officer may torture a person to compel him to pay up arrears of land revenue. Punishment for Section 330 includes imprisonment up to 7 years along with fine.

Section 331 is similar to Section 330 but it relates to grievous hurt instead of just simple hurt. Since grievous hurt is more severe, the punishment can extend to imprisonment for 10 years instead of 7 years.

Causing hurt to deter public servants (Sections 332 & 333)

Section 332 basically prohibits an offender from hurting a public servant for deterring him from discharging his duties. For example, a person may harm a police officer to prevent him from arresting his friend. This is punishable with imprisonment up to 3 years and/or fine.

Section 333 is similar with the only difference that it relates to grievous hurt and not just simple hurt. Punishments for this extends to imprisonment up to 10 years and also includes fine.

Hurt following provocation (Sections 334 & 335)

Under Section 334, the offender basically hurts a person who causes grave and sudden provocation to him. However, he must not intend to cause hurt to any other person. Punishment for this includes imprisonment up to 1 month and/or fine up to Rs. 500.

Section 335 is similar but involves grievous hurt instead of a simple hurt. Punishment of imprisonment, in this case, may extend to 4 years and the fine amount up to Rs 2,000.

Hurt endangering life or personal safety of others (Sections 336 to 338)

Any rash or negligent act that endangers human life or risks personal safety of people is punishable under Section 336. Imprisonment for this may extend to 3 months and may even attract a fine up to Rs 250.

When an offender causes simple hurt by committing such rash or negligent act, he is punishable under Section 337. Here, the imprisonment sentence extends to 6 months and the fine up to Rs 500.

Similarly, Section 338 makes such acts punishable if they cause grievous hurt. The imprisonment sentence increases to 2 years and the fine amount to Rs 1,000.

Solved Question on Section 326

(a) Under __________ grievous hurt is punishable if the offender commits it with weapons or dangerous means.

(b) Causing grievous hurt to deter public servants is punishable with imprisonment up to __________ years.

(c) Injuries like privation of ears and eyes amount to the offence of causing __________ hurt.

Answers:          (a) Section 326          (b) 10          (c) grievous

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