The introduction of automobiles gave the opportunity to enjoy a new
experience and learn a new skill. As it is also a pathway that opened various
employments to the needy, even for the higher class of the society to own
individual vehicles. But to this, it was also a gateway to various incidents
causing death, grievous hurt, severe accidents, and other damages. To this, our
legislature framed provisions and laws to prevent such happenings to occur
further. But still at present India face such incidents where these laws come
into action and provide us with the appropriate remedy.
What is rash or negligent driving?
Rash driving or negligent driving seems to be a small concept but from a legal
perspective, it includes various aspects. Even if Section 279 IPC (Indian Penal
Code). completely defines the act of rash driving or riding on a public way,
there are other provisions mentioned under IPC that are necessary to consider.
These are Sec 337 IPC (Causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety
of others), and 338 of IPC (Causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or
personal safety of others).
Section 279 IPC - rash driving or riding on a public way
Whenever an individual drives a vehicle without following the driving
guidelines, he seems to be causing a rash and negligent act. Under this
provision, inconsiderateness might turn into the element for choosing
impulsiveness or carelessness with respect to the driver, in any case, simple
driving fasta doesn't add up to rash driving.
Whenever the driver is capable to control the speed of the vehicle or when the
street on which he is driving appears to be not crowded, then, at that point,
the demonstration of the driver won't comprise rash and negligent driving.
Although, at present in some cases, the speed limit for the vehicles is provided
by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways which is quite high than the
normal speed in comparison to those roads that don't belong to the category of
the high ways, in such cases driving at high speed is mandatory and it will not
hold the driver at risk for the offense of rash driving under sec 279 of Indian
Penal Code. But assuming that an individual drives a vehicle on street the
without due care and consideration, he will be considered guilty of committing
the offense under this Section.
Punishment for Section 279 IPC
In case of violating the provision mentioned under Section 279 IPC, the offender
will be punished with imprisonment which may extend upto six months, or with a
fine which may amount to one thousand rupees or both.
Case: Raghavan Pillai vs State AIR 1954
In this case, the accused was driving a truck along the divider of a straight
road at a high speed with an intention to keep its speed similar to that of a
train that was running parallel to the road. The truck was loaded with heavy
bags and also two persons sitting on the top of the bags.
All of a sudden three bullock carts approached from the opposite direction along
the appropriate side of their way. To this, the accused turned his truck towards
the right of the road to allow the bullock carts to pass, but unfortunately, it
resulted that the truck overturned causing the death of one of the people
sitting on the top and grievous hurt to the another.
It was held that the accused was guilty under sections 279, 304A, 337, and 338
Section 337 IPC: Causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of
In the event that the thoughtlessness or carelessness of any individual in
carrying out any act ends up being a danger to the wellbeing or life of others,
the wrongdoing is culpable under this provision. The consequence of such an act
adds up to as long as a half-year detainment or a 500 rupees fine or both
relying upon the act committed. It falls under cognizable and bailable offense.
It can likewise be compounded by the victim(s) assuming the court grants.
In issues of such offenses, bail can be obtained from the police station from
the officer-in-charge. The prescribed bail bond should be executed before the
complaint is sent to a magistrate.
Case: Muhammed Abdul Kareem Faisal v. The State Of Kerala
, 5th February
In this case, where an Individual (A1) was exploring a boat inappropriately with
travelers with the knowledge that might cause the boat to get overturned in the
lake, and it happened which resulted in the demise of two people.
The boat belongs to the petitioner. The petitioner runs a hotel on an island. It
was alleged that the accused who has entrusted the boat with A1, lacks the skill
of navigating a boat which led to the occurrence of such an incident where the
speed of the boat resulted in it turning over.
The said facts do not fall under an offense under section 280 IPC against the
petitioner. The individual who was navigating the boat (A1) is the one in
particular who can be blamed under Section 280 IPC. Comparable is the situation
with respect to the offenses under Sections 304A and 337 IPC moreover.
To welcome the offense under Section 337 IPC, there ought to be impulsiveness
and carelessness or in other words, rashness and negligence with respect to the
blamed and the said denounced more likely than not caused hurt too. Here in the
current case, the petitioner was absent from the boat and he was not exploring
This is the situation with an offense under Section 304A IPC where death must've
likewise happened. At the point when the petitioner was not instrumental in
navigating the boat and causing hurt or demise, the mentioned offenses under the
IPC won't be thought of as substantial.
Section 338 IPC: Causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal
safety of others
Whoever makes terrible or grievous hurt any individual by doing any act so
carelessly which could lead to the consequence of endangering the human life, or
the individual security of others. An individual or individuals causing such an
act shall be punished with imprisonment up to two years or a fine of one
thousand rupees or both.
How these sections are inter-linked?
When there are incidents involving rash driving as well as injury amounts to
hurt, then all the three sections Sec 279, 337, 338 IPC will be applicable.
In case when one knocks on one vehicle or person and ran away. Such act is known
as Hit and Run which is defined under Section 161 of the Motor Vehicle Act 1988.
Under such conditions the injured person can make a police complaint within a
reasonable time also in case of heavy injury the recovery time will also be
considered under the reasonable time period.
After the complaint has been made the police arrest the person who did the act,
and will be presented before the court but in such circumstances bail will be
granted and the person will be released on bail. The victim can also claim the
expenses and compensation for the damage that occurred along with the medical
bills attached with the FIR, it will be granted with the permission of the court
as such provision is mentioned under Section 163 Motor Vehicle Act 1988.
National Insurance Company Limited Vs Pranay Sethi
In this case, the Supreme Court laid down guidelines for assessing compensation
concerning the prospects of the deceased where the deceased is self-employed or
has a fixed or permanent salary. It was held that compensation should be just in
nature and shall be equity, fair, and reasonable.
The guidelines given in the Sarla Verma case were analyzed, and the Court added
a wide perspective to this. The additions were extended to the deceased not
having permanent jobs also. The Court focuses on the need for a uniform
principle of standardization for the assessment of compensation.
However, the Court ruled the benefits to others also, like,
In the case of the deceased who had a permanent job (salaried) then if his age
is below 40 years, between 40-50 years, and between 50-60 years the additions of
50%, 30%, and 15% were to be made to the prospects of the deceased respectively.
If the deceased was self-employed or had a fixed salary, then if his age is
below 40 years, between 40 and 50 years, and between 50-60 years the additions
of 40%, 25%, and 10% were to be made respectively.
In case, if there was any loss of consortium, loss of estate, or funeral, then
he should be awarded 40,000, 15000, and 15000 respectively.
Further, the Court decided that the amounts shall be increased every 3 years at
a rate of 10%.
When did Section 279 IPC come into action?
To enter under Section 279 of the Indian Penal Code, one more perspective to be
considered is riding carelessly or negligently in a public way. A public way
implies a bustling street, passage, or a quiet populated which is ordinarily
utilized or is opened for access by the common individuals to walk or go by a
vehicle for example footpaths, streets, roadways, highways.
It is a right of easement conceded to the overall population to move openly on
such pathways, an act shall not lead to an outcome of a physical issue or injury
but when an individual drives vehicle in any such way utilized by people in
general, carelessly or negligently making hurt or injury any individual not
leading to the death of the individual, whether purposely or accidentally, then,
at that point, the driver of the vehicle will be punishable under section 279 of
Indian Penal Code.
How to file/defend your case for IPC 279 offense?
There are two ways available to file a case under section 279. An application
can be given orally or written to the Police in charge to register an FIR. Or
one can visit the nearest police station within the jurisdiction to get a zero
FIR registered. In case the FIR is denied by the police officer in charge, the
applicant can send the information in writing or by post to the Superintendent
of Police concerned.
If the Superintendent of Police finds the reason to justify that the office
committed is cognizable, then he will investigate or assign a lower office for
further procedure, and will also possess all the power of an investigating
A complaint can be filed to the magistrate orally in court or in a written
format under section 200 of the CrPC. Once the complaint is submitted the
magistrate will conduct a hearing, deciding upon the issue of cognizance. In
this channel, the informant and the witnesses shall be examined on oath in front
of the magistrate.
Conviction sentence not to affect career and not be treated as a remark for
employment: Karnataka High Court
Devendrappa H. v. State
The petitioner was driving KSRTC transport and in this manner caused a mishap by
running against a private transport because of rash and negligent driving. The
petitioner was tried in the Court of JMFC, Belthangady, for the offenses
culpable under Sections 279 and 337 of IPC, held liable and condemned to two
months straightforward detainment and a fine of Rs1, 000/ - with a default
sentence time of 15 days detainment corresponding to offense under Section 279
IPC, i.e, Penal Code, 1860, and two months detainment with fine of Rs 500/ - and
a sentence period of 15 days for the offense under Section 337 IPC. The
preferred appeal was dismissed.
The counsel on the behalf of the petitioner stated that the accident was caused
due to the narrow width of the road and not due to rash driving with this he
also provided a photograph of the same road. To this petitioner may be just
subjected to a fine with an observation that the conviction is not a stigma to
The council on behalf of the respondent stated when there is no scope for
appreciation of evidence, another view cannot be taken with regard to the
accident and there is no scope for reducing the quantum of sentence also.
The court determined both the sections which stated that Section 279 IPC
concludes imprisonment of upto six months and a fine of upto Rs. 1000 or both
while Section 337 states imprisonment upto six months or a fine upto Rs. 500 or
both. The court thus held that Therefore having regard to the sentencing
structure provided in both the sections, I am of the opinion that the sentence
may be confined to a fine only instead of subjecting the petitioner to
At present, the world cannot be on its feet, vehicles have become an essential
part of the economy as well as for individuals. But following the rules was
never impossible. Our Legislature does provide its efforts in strengthening the
provisions, also it will be of no use if the citizens do neglect it purposely.
So it takes nothing to travel at a reasonable speed, instead, it saves a life
for both the one who is without wheels on the footpath or at the zebra crossing
and the person who is driving the other vehicle.