Assault, Criminal Force and force

What is the Difference between Force, Criminal Force and Assault?

Indian Penal Code’s definitions and explanations of “force,” “criminal force,” and “assault” highlight the distinctions between these terms. “Force” refers to initiating, changing or stopping motion of another person or object, which can be caused through personal physical effort, substances, or animals. “Criminal force” arises when force is used intentionally without consent, causing harm, fear or annoyance. “Assault” involves creating a perception of impending criminal force. While “force” isn’t an offence, “criminal force” and “assault” are punishable under designated sections of the IPC depending on severity.