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Criminal Offence: Voluntary Causing Grievous Hurt

Voluntary causing hurt is an offence under Section 322 of the Penal Code. 

What is Voluntary Causing Grievous Hurt?

Voluntary causing hurt is committed when an individual does an act that causes grievous hurt to another individual while intending to cause grievous hurt to that individual and the hurt caused by the offender is one of a grievous hurt. 

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When is it Grievous Hurt?

Under section 319 of the Penal Code, a hurt is considered as “Grievous” if it causes one or more of the following to the victim: 

  1. Emasculation; 
  2. Death; 
  3. Permanent privation of the sight of either eye; 
  4. Permanent privation of the hearing of either ear; 
  5. Privation of any member or joint; 
  6. Destruction or permanent impairing of the powers of any member or joint; 
  7. Permanent disfiguration of the head or face; 
  8. Fracture or dislocation of a bone; 
  9. Any hurt which endangered life, or which causes the victim to be, during the space of 20 days, in severe bodily pain, or unable to follow his ordinary pursuits; 
  10. Penetration of the vagina or anus, as the case may be, of a person without the person’s consent which causes severe bodily pain.

Aggravated Form of Voluntary Causing Grievous Hurt

While voluntary causing hurt is an offence under section 322 of the Penal Code, there are specific circumstances that are considered to be an aggravated form of voluntary causing grievous hurt and will attract heavier penalty against the offender. 

These includes: 

  1. Voluntarily causing grievous hurt by constraining the victim, or to extort property from the victim or to facilitate a commission of another offence; 
  2. Voluntarily causing grievous hurt by using a dangerous weapon or other means that may cause death, fire, poison or other means that may harm a human body; 
  3. Voluntarily causing grievous hurt to deter public servant from performing their duties. This includes police officers, prison officers, judicial officers and government officials; 
  4. Voluntarily causing grievous hurt to extort confession or to compel restoration of property. 

Commission of the aggravated form of voluntary causing grievous hurt will be charged under separate section of the Penal Code and heavier penalty will be issued against the offender.  

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What if I was provoked?

In the occasions where the offender was given a sudden and grave provocation that lead to the offender committing the offence, the offender will not be excused of the offence under the Penal Code. The offender may however be given a lower penalty and be charged under section 334A of the Penal Code instead of the usual section 322 of the Penal Code.  

What are the Penalties for Voluntarily Causing Hurt?

The maximum penalties for Voluntarily Causing Hurt that can be meted out by the court include an imprisonment of up to 10 years of imprisonment, or with fine, or with caning, or with any combination of such punishment. 

However, an aggravated offence will attract different penalty and can be surmised as follows: 

Offence

Relevant Section of Penal Code

Maximum Sentence

Voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or other means 

326

Life imprisonment, or up to 15 years imprisonment and fine or caning 
Voluntarily causing hurt to extort property or to constrain to an illegal act 

329

Life imprisonment, or up to 10 years imprisonment and fine and caning 
Voluntarily causing hurt to extort confession or to compel restoration of property 

331

Life imprisonment, or up to 10 years imprisonment and fine and caning
Voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from their duty 

333

Life imprisonment, or up to 15 years imprisonment and fine and caning

Why are the police not arresting the individual committing the offence?

Voluntarily causing hurt is a non-arrestable offence. As such, a police officer will require an arrest warrant from the court before the arrest can be made. 

In the event that no arrest warrant was issued by the court for the offence, you may wish to consider filing a Magistrate Complaint or to seek for legal advice to assist you in this matter. 

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How can we help?

In the event that the police are not intending to take any action against the individual committing the offence, you may seek for legal advice to take a private prosecution against the individual. 

In the event that the criminal court does not award you any damages for the injuries sustained by you, we can also pursue a civil action for you for any damages that was not awarded to you by the criminal court. 

Please do not hesitate to contact us and we will see to your case. 

Speak to a lawyer now

CONTACT US TODAY

Our specialised lawyers and their team are standing by to assist you. Our first consultation is free.

The information contained within this website contains general information about our lawyers, Law Firm and procedures and is not intended to constitute legal advice.
Any person viewing or receiving information from this Website should not act or refrain from acting, on the basis of any such information without first seeking appropriate legal advice.
Please consult a lawyer for specific review of your case and advise. 

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