Section 330 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 – Explained!
The section requires the proof of causing of hurt voluntarily. The purpose must be to extort confession or information from the sufferer or anyone interested in him which may lead to the detection of an offence or misconduct, or to constrain the sufferer or any person interested in him to restore or cause the restoration of any property or valuable security or to satisfy any claim or demand or to give information which may lead to the restoration of any property or valuable security.
The main object of this provision is to prevent torture by the police. The section applies to a case of inducing a person by hurt to make a statement or confession with respect to an offence or misconduct; whether the offence or misconduct has been committed is immaterial.
Where the accused police officers tortured a suspect with a view to obtain a confession from him resulting in his death, but the requisite intention or knowledge of causing death or grievous hurt could not be established against them, it was held that they had committed an offence under this section. Where, however, a husband caused hurt to his wife in order to constrain her to return to his house, this section was held to be not attracted because the word ‘demand’ used in this section is with respect to property.
Where the accused investigating officer and his assistant had no reliable information and suspicion about a case of theft subjected the suspects to ill-treatment to extort confession or information leading to detection of stolen properties, they were held guilty under section 330 of the Code.
In D. K. Basu v. State of West Bengal the Supreme Court held that any form of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment to an arrestee or his custodial death fall within the inhibition of Article 21 of the Constitution, whether it occurs during investigation, interrogation or otherwise. Section 330 of the Code which directly makes torture during investigation and interrogation punishable is, however, inadequate to repair the wrong done to the citizen. Prosecution of the offender is an obligation of the State in case of every crime but the victim of crime needs to be compensated monetarily also.
In cases of infringement of fundamental rights, therefore, the court cannot stop by giving a mere declaration. It must proceed further and give compensatory relief, not by way of damages as in a civil action but by way of compensation under the public law jurisdiction for wrong done due to breach of public duty by the state of not protecting the fundamental right to life of the citizen.
The offence under this section is cognizable, bailable and non-compoundable, and is triable by magistrate of the first class.