ipc 279 rash driving

There has been a constant rise in traffic-like situations in metropolitan cities of India. This has led to rash driving, road fatalities.

In this article, we will be focusing on Section 279 IPC – Indian Penal Code – Rash driving or riding in a public way.

As per Section 279 of the Indian Penal Code, individuals driving or riding a vehicle in any public ways in a rash or negligent manner that endangers human life or is most likely to injure other people will be punished by law. The punishment for the same is imprisonment up to six months, a penalty of INR 1000, or both. In case the individual driving the vehicle is under the influence of intoxicants and causes an accident further resulting in the death of other people will be held guilty under Section 304A of the Indian Penal Code.

Section 304(a) states as follows:

“Whoever causes the death of any person by doing any rash or negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or both.”

Any act under Section 304(a) is a bailable offence under the IPC. In such a case, the Court allows the defendant to make bail by paying a surety amount along with a bail bond at the police station. This offence is also compoundable which means that the plaintiff and the defendant can reach an agreement between themselves through their counsel and avoid trial. This often occurs in cases involving powerful Companies who would settle instead of going through a public trial.

The incident of a motor vehicle crash leading to the death of people will not be enough to charge someone under Section 304(a) for negligent driving. The charge of criminally negligent driving requires the driver to be solely or entirely responsible for the accident because of their negligence or rashness. This, however, requires interpretation on part of the court; taking into account the level of rashness and deliberation in an action that led to an accident. The court has to take into account that if one decides to drive under influence, they are aware of the consequences of their decision. The court also has to take into account the degree of damage done by undertaking that reckless decision.

Section 279 attracts many other sections like section 337, of the Indian penal code, 1860 which explainsCausing hurt by rash or negligent act endangering life or personal safety of others has been made punishable under this section. This section states that whoever causes hurt to any person by doing any act so rashly or negligently as to endanger either human life or the personal safety of others shall be punished with simple or rigorous imprisonment for a term extending up to six months or with a fine extending up to five hundred rupees, or with both.The offence under section 337 is cognizable, bailable and compoundable if permitted by the court trying the case, and is triable by any magistrate.

An example of a case that comes under section 337 IPC is, A car driver abruptly opened the car door and knocked down a cyclist, and a lorry coming from behind ran over him. It was held that death is the direct result of the running over by the lorry, its driver alone could be convicted under section 304-A while the car driver, though somewhat negligent, could be convicted only under section 337 of the Code.

Section 297 and 337 must be read in conjunction with sections 336 and 338 of the Code, according to section 338 of the Indian penal code, whoever causes grievous hurt to any person by doing any act so rashly or negligently as to endanger human life, or the personal safety of others shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.

Relevant cases under section 297

Bhola ram vs the state of Rajasthan

The petitioner was the driver of a Jonga it is alleged against him that due to heat driving rashly and negligently he causes an accident in which the passenger travelling in the bus was injured. the injury on the passenger’s name Jetha Ram is on the right elbow. The evidence shows no collusion between Jonga and the bus. it is apparent that the two-vehicle travelling in the opposite direction crossed each other at a very approximate distance Jetha Ram was sitting on the window seat of the bus had wrested his elbow on the window it is protruding out Jetha Ram has attributed to the injury suffered to him. This is an element of rashness on behalf of the petitioner as well which is evident from the site, the plan does the same show that he drove the Junga using more space on the road which otherwise he should have used while driving the channel this is a critical aspect of the evidence that has been overlooked by both the court below offence punishable under section 279,337,338 IPC are punishable with a fine disposed of the petition maintaining the conviction but set aside the sentence imposed upon the petitioner and simultaneously enhancing the fine for the offence punishable under section 279 the petitioner shall pay a fine of 3000 for the offence punishable under section 337, the petitioner shall pay a fine of 1000 for the offence punishable under section 338 the petitioner shall pay a fine of rs 3000/

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