Can you cause hurt without contacting the victim?

Hurt or Battery (in English law) is an offence which makes a person liable for causing harm to the person. However the degree of the inflicted harm is low. For instance – if a person inflicted harm to another but the injury is not serious nor he having knowledge or intends to cause death or grievous hurt then the act will be considered as hurt.


Section 319 of Indian Penal Code


Section 319 of Indian Penal Code talks about hurt. It states that if a person causes bodily pain,or disease or infirmity to any person then he has caused hurt.

Therefore the essentials requisite of this section is –

  • Bodily pain or
  • Disease or
  • Infirmity


Bodily pain 


In the above discussion, we understood that one needs to inflict body pain or disease or infirmity then he shall be liable for inflicting hurt. But we don’t know whether direct physical contact is necessary that constitutes hurt? or is any Medium sufficient in such a course of action ?

In addition, one more question arises whether a person shall be guilty for any pain he inflicted? Obviously ‘No’, Hurt is not constituted by mental pain.

For instance – if a person gives alarming news to another which caused severe pain then the act isn’t constituted as hurt.

However, if a person knows that another person has a weak emotional stability and heart. He intentionally gives shock to the person and succeeds in his act. Then he shall be liable for causing hurt.


Haystead v. Chief Constable of Darbyshire (2000)


Fact – An accused punched the woman on her face. She was holding her child of 12 months. As a consequence of the act, the child fell and hit his head on the floor.

Charged – Due to which the man was accused of assaulting the child by beating (battery).

He argued that he can’t be held liable for the act as there wasn’t any physical contact between the child and him.

However, the punch was taken as a medium to inflict harm to the child.

Held – In this case, the court held that direct physical contact is not required to constitute hurt.



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