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SECTION 270 IPC - Indian Penal Code - Malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life


Last Updated: 01 Feb, 2024
By Advocate Chikirsha Mohanty


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Table of Contents

  1. Description of IPC Section 270
  2. IPC 270 in Simple Words
  3. Section 270 of the Indian Penal Code
  4. What is Section 270 of IPC?
  5. Circumstances under which Section 270 of IPC can be invoked
  6. IPC Section 270 related FAQs

Description of IPC Section 270

According to section 270 of Indian penal code, Whoever malignantly does any act which is, and which he knows or has reason to believe to be, likely to spread the infection of any disease dangerous to life, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.



IPC 270 in Simple Words

According to section 270 of the Indian Penal Code, if anyone knowingly does an act that can spread a dangerous disease, they can be punished with imprisonment for up to two years, or with a fine, or both.

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India Code: Section Details. Whoever malignantly does any act which is, and which he knows or has reason the believe to be, likely to spread the infection of any disease dangerous to life, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.


Offence : Malignantly doing any act known to be likely to spread infection of any disease dangerous to life


Punishment : 2 Years or Fine or Both


Cognizance : Cognizable


Bail : Bailable


Triable : Any Magistrate







Section 270 of the Indian Penal Code

What happens when a person infected with a deadly disease infects others with the same? Can he/she be penalized for such an act? What if such an act committed by the person was negligently done without any intention? Or if the person wanted to deliberately vandalize others or to take revenge? Can such acts be penalized under the Indian laws?

These set of questions must have crossed your mind numerous times. However, did you know that there are sections under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that prescribes punishment for these acts? Section 269 of the IPC deals with any negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life. Similarly, Section 270 of the IPC deals with any malignant act likely to spread infection dangerous to life.



What is Section 270 of IPC?

Section 270 of IPC deals with an aggravated form of the offence discussed under Section 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life). As per Section 270, anybody who does a malignant act which he/she knows is likely to spread an infectious disease dangerous to life can be punished with imprisonment for up to two years or with a fine.

It reads, “Whoever malignantly does any act which is, and which he knows or has reason to believe to be, likely to spread the infection of any disease dangerous to life, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.”

Thus, what differentiates this offence from the one under Section 269 is that the accused who does an act with a deliberate intention to cause harm is punishable under this provision.



Circumstances under which Section 270 of IPC can be invoked

Sections 270 have often been invoked in medical negligence cases and food adulteration cases. For instance, a doctor was accused under the two sections after it was alleged by the petitioner that the doctor negligently severed his wife’s intestine while performing her tubectomy operation. The court, however, set aside the FIR, citing a lack of negligence on the doctor’s part.

The Supreme Court spoke about Sections 269 and 270 in a 1998 case, in which an HIV+ man had filed a case against a hospital that had disclosed that he was HIV+, leading to his marriage being called off. Opining that the disclosure saved the petitioner’s fiancé, the court also took note of the two provisions and observed, therefore, if a person suffering from the dreadful disease “AIDS”, knowingly marries a woman and thereby transmits the infection to that woman, he would be guilty of offences indicated in Sections 269 and 270 of the Indian Penal Code.

The above statutory provisions thus impose a duty upon the appellant not to marry as the marriage would have the effect of spreading the infection of his own disease, which obviously is dangerous to life, to the woman whom he marries apart from being an offence.

However, in 2017, the Rajasthan high court set aside the criminal proceedings launched under the Section against a spice and wheat mill. The complainant had alleged that his family members had suffered from several diseases because of the use of heavy-duty machines by the mill.

The court, however, did not agree with this logic and observed that the legislative purport of Section was to contain the acts, which could spread infection or diseases dangerous to life, attributable to a single person. It is apparent on the face of the record as well as the impugned order that the act of the petitioner does not amount to spreading infection or diseases dangerous to life.

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FAQ's on IPC Section 270

What is Section 271 of IPC?

Any person who disobeys a quarantine rule as mentioned under Section 271 of the Indian Penal Code can be charged with simple or rigorous imprisonment extendable up to 6 months or fine or both. 1 Dec 2023

What is IPC 273?

Whoever sells, or offers or exposes for sale, as food or drink, any article which has been rendered or has become noxious, or is in a state unfit for food or drink, knowing or having reason to believe that the same is noxious as food or drink, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which ...

Is Section 269 IPC compoundable or not?

A non-compoundable offence means it is a less serious offence that can be compromised, that is the complainant may take back the charges anytime against the accused without the intervention of the court. In what court can IPC section 269 be tried? The offence under Section 269 is triable by any Magistrate.