Physical assault is the use of physical violence or injury to a person by another person. Under the Indian Penal Code, physical assault is broadly divided into four types based on the gravity and nature of offences:

  1. Assault
  2. Hurt
  3. Culpable homicide not amounting to murder
  4. Culpable homicide amounting to murder

What is Hurt?

Hurt is considered as a non-fatal crime in IPC hurt is divided into two types simple and grievous hurt Sections 319 to 338 defines hurt and related punishments.

Simple Hurt is defined under sec 319 as “whoever causes bodily pain, disease or infirmity to any man or woman is said to have caused harm.” The essential of it is first bodily pain, second disease, and third infirmity to any person. Bodily pain means the pain must be physical in nature and not mental however in case of invisible injury also a person can be convicted under this act. If a Diseased person tries to communicate sexually transmitted or any other communicable disease to another then he/ she might be convicted under this act. Lastly, Infirmity means an unsound or unhealthy state of mind or body that is the inability of an organ to perform its normal function it can be either permanent or temporary in nature. In case of hurt, it is not always important that the hurt should have been caused by any physical contact, it can be also caused indirectly or by any dangerous weapon or by any passive act of a person. Here, intention and knowledge of the accused causing harm to another person play a significant role.

Grievous Hurt is specific types of hurt that are severe in nature as compared to that of simple hurt. It consists of

  1. Emasculation is an act of causing harm to render a man impotent.
  2. Injury to eyesight depends on the gravity of the injury caused by the accused.
  3. Deprivation of hearing
  4. Loss of limb or joint
  5. Impairing of limb
  6. Disfiguration is causing some external injury to a person which detracts him/her from his personal appearance.
  7. Fracture or dislocation of a bone or tooth now, in this case, it is not always necessary that the bone or tooth should be broken mere displacement or crack is also enough to term it under this act.
  8. Hurt that endangers life means any hurt that either endangers the life of a person or causes the sufferer to be during the space of 20 days in severe bodily pain or which causes the sufferer to be during the space of 20 days unable to follow his/her ordinary course of pursuit.

Punishment under Hurt and Grievous hurt

In case of simple hurt, the punishment may extent up to 1yr or fine or both. Whereas with use of a dangerous weapon may extend up to a minimum of 3 yrs. Or more or fine or both. In terms of Grievous hurt, on the other hand, the punishment is 7 yrs. Or fine or both and with the use of a dangerous weapon may extend up to life imprisonment or imprisonment up to 10 yrs.

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