Is Slapping Someone A Crime In India?


In a nation like India, stories of crimes involving battery, assault, discharge, etc. are constantly present in the news. These crimes are very common in our nation and occur almost daily—some would even argue that they occur hourly—and as a result, people were facing numerous difficulties. The government felt compelled to intervene and enact laws that guaranteed severe penalties for those who committed these crimes.  The Indian Penal Code (IPC) is one of several codes that were already drafted during the British era. Thomas Babington Macaulay chaired the first law panel that drafted the Indian Penal Code. The code became operative on January 1st, 1860. The common law foundations of the Indian Penal Code have been shaped by British legal customs. It outlines the definition and penalties of crimes like fraud, rape, theft, assault, and murder. The law also offers recommendations for figuring out how harshly each offense should be punished, taking into account things like the seriousness of the crime and the criminal's intent. This article will elaborate on one such crime .i,e assault, and whether slapping be considered an assault or any other form of crime in India.

Is Slapping Someone A Crime In India?

To understand whether slapping can be considered a crime, we need to first understand the meaning of assault. Assault refers to the act of instantly inflicting terror on someone else or utilizing unlawful physical force against them is referred to as assault. Different from violent crime is assault. Physical force against another person is only considered criminal force if it comes into contact with a part of the victim's body; otherwise, it is considered an assault, for which the perpetrator faces prosecution under section 351 of the IPC.

Mere words do not amount to assault. However, words resulting in gestures are equivalent to assault. Hence, slapping can be considered as an assault.

Sections 351 and 352 of the IPC


Serious and unexpected provocation is defined as any statement or action that has the potential to incite someone to anger, cause them to lose control, or for them to do something they might not ordinarily do. Severe and unexpected provocation is employed as a defense because it causes someone to lose sense and control, as well as the ability to grasp what is going on and distinguish between right and wrong.

Criminal  Force

Criminal force is covered in Section 350 of the Indian Penal Code. According to this section, using force to coerce someone else into doing something or not doing something, committing a crime, frightening someone, or knowing that using such a person could kill or seriously injure another person is considered criminal force and is punishable by law.


Any action or plan that gives rise to the perception in the other person's mind that the one making any kind of sign will harm them or use force is considered assault.

Section 351 and 352

Section 351 and Section 352 of the Indian Penal Code address the penalties for using criminal force or assault on another person without that person's consent. It declares that it is an offense to attack someone else or use criminal force on them without that person's consent.

Section 352 of the Indian Penal Code has three explanations, all of which focus on the serious and abrupt provocation that occurs when someone uses unlawful force or assault. The accused cannot utilize severe or abrupt provocation to get the punishment reduced, particularly if the provocation was brought on by one of the following reasons:

It says that the punishment under this section will not be lessened if the person accused under this section deliberately provokes to use it as a justification for committing the crime under section 352.

If the accused or the person gets agitated when the other person follows the law, or if the law is being enforced by a public servant while they are using their official authority.

This theory holds that when someone exercises their right to private defense in accordance with the law, they are inciting the accused.


A person accused under section 352 of the Indian Penal Code faces a maximum sentence of three months in prison, a maximum fine of five hundred rupees, or both. The offense under IPC section 352 is both bailable and non-cognizable. It is also a compoundable offense because the victim of such unlawful force or assault may compound it and may appear before any magistrate. Any magistrate may hear the case.

However, the essential element in this provision is provocation. This provision prohibits the offender from using provocation to lessen their punishment. Section 352 addresses the penalties for assault and use of force against an individual other than that which results from provocation; nevertheless, if an individual is provoked as a result of any explanation provided in this section, they cannot use that explanation to defend their actions or crimes.