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Voluntarily causing grievous hurt to extort confession, or to compel restoration of property (Section 331 of IPC)

The following are the essential ingredients of Sections 330 & 331:

i) The offender should voluntarily cause hurt or grievous hurt;

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ii) It should be done for the following purposes:

a) To extort confession or information;

b) To restore or cause restoration of any property or valuable security;

c) To satisfy any claim or demand;

d) To obtain information, which may lead to the restoration of any property or valuable security?

iii) If it is for the purpose of extorting confession or information, such confession or information should lead to the detection of an offence or misconduct.

Sections 330 & 331 are similar to Sections 327 and 329 which deal with causing of hurt for the purpose of extorting property or valuable security. But Sections 330 & 331 punish the inducing of a person by causing hurt to make a statement, or a confession, having reference to an offence or misconduct; and whether that offence or misconduct has been committed is wholly immaterial. The principal object of the section is to prevent torture by the police.

A ‘Confession’ is an admission of one’s guilt. ‘Information’ refers to anything said which offers a possible clue to the apprehension of the criminal. ‘Misconduct’ refers to a departmental delinquency or a social crime not necessarily punishable under the Code. ‘Restoration of property’ means recovery of property once lost. ‘Claim or demand’ means the claim or demand with respect to property.

The offence under Section 330 is cognizable, bailable, but not compoundable and is triable by a Magistrate of the first class. The offence under Section 331 is cognizable, non-bailable, non- compoundable and is triable by the Court of Session.

The punishment under Section 330 is imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine but the punishment under Section 331 is imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.

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