The wrong of battery consists in intentional application of force to another person without any lawful justification.
- there should be use of force
- the same same should be without any lawful justification
1. Use of force – mere touching of another’s body without any lawful justification
amounts to battery. The force may be used through any object like a stick, bullet, throwing of water, spitting on man’s face or making person fall down by pulling his chair.
Mere passive obstruction however cannot be considered as the use of force.
In Innes vs Wylie, a policeman unlawfully prevented the plaintiff from entering into the club premises. It was held that policeman was entirely passive motionless like a door or wall to prevent from entering the room. There was no battery.
2. Without any lawful justification – it is essential that use of force should be intentional and without any lawful justification. Harm voluntarily suffered by a person is no battery as “volenti non fit injuria” is a complete defense. Similarly, touching of a person in a friendly way to draw his attention to something is no battery. Harm which is unintentional is not actionable.
In Stanley vs Powell, Powell, who was a member of shooting party, fired up at Pheasant but pellet from gun glanced off a tree and accidentally wounded Stanley who was another member of shooting party. It was held that Powell is not liable.
In Cherubin Gregory vs State of Bihar, it was held that fixing naked live wire, without due warning across the passage of the latrine to keep the trespassers away from the latrine and thereby causing the death of trespasser was actionable.