This blog will cover Section 326 of the Indian Penal Code covering the following topics:-
- What is Section 326 under the Indian Penal Code
- Main ingredients of an offence under Section 326
- Classification under IPC Section 326 – IPC Section 326(A), IPC Section 326 (B)
- Difference & Similarity Under Section 326A and Section 326B
- Charges and punishments under Section 326A and Section 326B
- FAQs on IPC Section 326
Now, let’s begin by first understanding what is Section 326 under the Indian Penal Code
This section talks about the acts, voluntarily done by a person to cause grievous hurt, using any dangerous weapon or deadly means. Section 326 IPC as defined under the Code reads as below:
“Whoever, except in the case provided for by section 335, voluntarily causing grievous hurt by means of any instrument for shooting, stabbing, or cutting, or any instrument which, used as a weapon of offence, is likely to cause death, or utilizing fire on any heated substance, or utilizing any explosive substance, or by means, any substance which it is deleterious to the human body to inhale, to swallow, or to receive into the blood or using any animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.”
To give a better picture, sections 319-335 under IPC, deal with the offences of hurt, voluntarily causing hurt, grievous hurt and covers every act which may cause physical harm, injury or even death of an individual.
On the other hand, section 326 Indian Penal Code deals with the acts where the injury/harm caused or which is likely to cause the death of a person, committed by using dangerous weapons used for cutting, stabbing, shooting or any other measure like fire, explosive substances, acid, etc.
Main ingredients of an offence under Section 326
- Accused must commit/submit in an act with the knowledge that he is likely to hurt the victim grievously.
- He deliberately caused it. Nobody constrained him to do such an act
- He committed the criminal act using by following methods:
- By an instrument of wounding, shooting or cutting.
- By an instrument, which whenever used as a weapon, can cause the death of an individual.
- By fire or some other heated substance.
- By any toxic or any corrosive substance.
- By using any sort of explosive substance.
- By using any substance which is harmful to the human body to inhale, to swallow, or to receive into the blood
Section 326 Indian Penal Code will not be attracted if any of these, and if there was no purpose/intention of the person committing the act to cause death or if he/she was unaware of the fact that his action can cause serious damage which can result in the death of the person. The punishment includes imprisonment for life, or it could be extended to 10 years term and also makes an individual responsible to pay the fine. Crimes which are committed under this section are cognizable and non-bailable, triable by Magistrate of the first class.
Classification under IPC Section 326 –Section 326(A), Section 326(B)
Moving further with IPC section 326, it is divided into two subsections. These reads as:
Knowingly causing grievous hurt by the use of acid, substance etc.
“Whoever causes permanent or partial damage or deformity to, or burn or maims or disfigures or disables, any part of the body of a person or causes grievous hurt by throwing acid on or by administering acid to that person, or by using any other means to cause or with the knowledge that he is likely to cause such injury or hurt, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than ten years but which may extend to life imprisonment, and with fine:
Provided that such fine shall be just and reasonable to meet the medical expenses of the treatment of the victim;
Provided further that any fine imposed under this section shall be paid to the victim. ”
- For Section 326A, “acid” includes any substance which has an acidic or corrosive character or burning nature, that is capable of causing bodily injury leading to scars or disfigurement or temporary or permanent disability.
- For Section 326A, permanent or partial damage or deformity shall not be required to be irreversible
Voluntarily throwing or attempting to throw acid
“Whoever throws or attempts to throw acid on any person or attempts to administer acid to any person, or attempts to use any other means, with the intention of causing permanent or partial damage or deformity or burns or maiming or disfigurement or disability or grievous hurt to that person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than five years, but which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.”
Difference & Similarity Under IPC Section 326A and IPC Section B
Now, it is better to read IPC sections 326A and 326B together. This is so because section 326B is the cause and section 326A provides the effect.
Ex... Voluntarily throwing acid or even attempting to throw acid is an offence. Whereas, if acid thrown causes grievous hurt, it becomes an offence under Sec 326B IPC.
The basic difference between section 326A and 326B of IPC is the cause of actual injury to the victim. Under Section 326A the offender is successful in hurting the victim whereas under Section 326B the offender only throws or attempts to throw acid, without being able to hurt the intended victim.
Charges and Punishments under IPC Section 326A and IPC Section 326B
For Section 326A there is mandatory minimum punishment of ten years which may extend to imprisonment for life and, in either case, with a fine. The fine is mandatory and the quantum should be just and reasonable in the sense that it should be, in any case, sufficient to meet the medical expenses for the treatment of the victim. IPC Section 326A requires that the fines imposed should be paid to the litigant.
Whereas, an offence under Section 326B is punishable with mandatory minimum imprisonment of five years, which may extend to seven years and fine .
Related Case: MAQBOOL v. THE STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH
FAQ’s about section 326 Indian Penal Code
Here are some FAQs related to this section 326 Indian Penal Code.
No.-1- How to prove section 326 Indian Penal Code?
Answer - To Prove Section 326 IPC, it is to be seen that the injury/hurt is voluntarily caused, which must be grievous and the same has been caused by a dangerous weapon or means including instrument. There is no such thing as a regular or earmarked weapon for committing murder or for that matter a grievous injury.
No.-2- Is section 326A Indian Penal Code bailable or non-bailable?
Answer - Section 326A of the IPC is cognizable and non-bailable.
No.-3- What is minimum and maximum punishment under section 326A of Indian Penal Code?
Answer -The minimum punishment is 10 years imprisonment. It can extend up to life imprisonment with fine. A separate law to punish offenders in such cases was passed along with amendment of the law on sexual offences.
No.-4- Is section 326, IPC, a compoundable offence?
Answer – It is a non- compoundable offence.
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