Rash and negligent driving

Rash and negligent driving

Section 279 of IPC covers rash and negligent driving for prosecution of cases where driver of the motor vehicle likely to injure or endangers human life. Main constituent of this section are

  • Rashness
  • Negligence

Rashness is an act of haste, this means doing an act without foreseeing the consequences of the act.

Negligence on the other hand is an omission to do something which a reasonable man, guided upon these considerations which ordinarily regulate the conduct of human would do, or doing something which a prudent man would not do.

The main ingredient of section 279 combining both rashness and negligence is the material foreseeability of danger and not the manner in which danger materialized in fact. A reasonable man would so regulate his conduct as to avoid producing any undesirable result.

In order to establish foreseeability, the claimant must prove that the driver did not stick to the standard of care in driving, which is expected from a reasonable person. A reasonable man who drives a motor car on a highway would have the skill of a competent driver. The question to be asked is “what does a lay man think to the cause of accident”?

To make a person liable for criminal negligence or rashness, it was necessary to show a nexus between the wrongful act of the accused and injuries suffered must be an immediate result.

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By Adv. Nitish Banka
Practicing Advocate District and High courts in Delhi/NCR

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