Whoever causes bodily pain, disease or infirmity to any person is said to cause hurt.
Section 319 to 338 of the Indian Penal Code deal with causing hurt and grievous hurt and punishment for them.
Hurt means causing of pain, disease or infirmity by any person to another. Such pain etc. may not be caused by direct physical contact between the accused and the victim. Hurt must have been caused by some voluntary act of the accused.
Grievous Hurt Section 320
Section 320: The following kinds of hurt only are designated as grievous.
Secondly. Permanent privation of the sight of either eye.
Thirdly. Permanent privation of the hearing of either ear.
Fourthly. -Privation of any member or joint.
Fifthly. Destruction or permanent impairing of the powers of any member or joint.
Sixthly. Permanent disfiguration of the head or face.
Seventhly. -Fracture or dislocation of a bone or tooth.
Eighthly. -Any hurt which endangers life or which causes the sufferer to be during the space of twenty days in severe bodily pain, or unable to follow his ordinary pursuits.
Grievous hurt is a more serious kind of hurt. It must be a hurt of any of the kinds stated in this section and must also be voluntarily inflicted.
Emasculation. –Emasculation’ means depriving a person of masculine vigour, castration. Causing such injury to the scrotum as would render a man impotent is covered by this term. Causing injury to himself resulting in emasculation is not within the purview of this section. What is required by this section is voluntarily causing such injury to another which deprives that person of his masculine vigour.
Disfiguration. – ‘Disfiguration’ means causing such injury to a man which detracts from his personal appearance, but does not weaken him.
For example, cutting off of a man’s nose or ear or an injury resulting in some permanent mark on the face of a person. Where the cheeks of a girl were branded with a red-hot iron, which left scars of a permanent character, the injury was held to be disfiguration under this section.
Fracture or dislocation of a bone. -Fracture or dislocation of a bone is also considered to be a grievous hurt because it causes great pain to the person injured. May be that the bone fractured may be rejoined or the bone dislocated may be reset but this does not alter the nature of injury because of painful suffering it causes to the victim. Ordinarily ‘fracture means breaking but in certain cases bone may not break, there may be only crack.
For example fracture of skull bone. But if it is a crack it must extend from the outer surface of the skull to the inner surface. If a cut results only in a scratch and does not go deep into any length into the bone it cannot be deemed a fracture; but where the bone has been cut to the depth of half an inch it would be a case of fracture.
Any hurt which endangers life. -Where the hurt inflicted is such as only endangers life it would be grievous hurt and if it is likely to cause death it would amount to culpable homicide not amounting to murder. The distinction between culpable homicide not amounting to murder and grievous hurt is very thin. In case of grievous hurt the injury which is actuary found should itself be such that it may put the life of the injured in danger.” For example a wound on the neck inflicted with a sharp edged weapon is considered a dangerous to life.
Hurt which causes sufferer severe bodily pain. – Under clause (8) an injury would amount to grievous hurt if “causes the sufferer to be during the space of twenty days in severe bodily pain, or unable to follow his ordinary pursuits.” The mere fact that the sufferer was hospitalised for twenty or more days would not be sufficient, he must have been during that period unable to follow his ordinary pursuits. Continuance of severe bodily pain for 20 days or disability to follow one’s avocation for 20 days constitutes grievous hurt; if it continues for a period less than 20 days it would be an offence of hurt.
Acts neither intended nor likely to cause death may amount to grievous hurt even though death is caused. -If there was no intention to cause death, or no intention to cause such bodily injury as was likely to cause death or no knowledge that death was likely to be caused from the harm inflicted, and death is actually caused, the accused would be guilty of voluntarily causing grievous hurt if the injury caused was of a serious nature.
In the case of state vs Shivlingaiah
The accused in a sudden fight squeezed the testicles of the deceased causing him shock and cardiac arrest resulting in death. He was held guilty of grivious hurt under clause eighth of Section 320 IPC as his life endangered the life of the deceased.