The Bombay High Court has observed that when a person drives his vehicle in a very high speed, in spite of knowing the fact that it is thickly populated and very busy road, it will be one of the shade of driving the vehicle in rash and negligent manner. The Trial Court had convicted Popat Bhaginath Kasar under section 304A and Section 279 of the Indian Penal Code. On his appeal, the appellate court acquitted him for the offence under Section 279 of the Indian Penal Code, but affirmed the conviction under Section 304A IPC. The vehicle had hit a seven year old boy who died on the spot.
Speed is not the only factor to conclude rash driving, ruled the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court on Friday. The HC, however, said speed is an important factor by which it can be ascertained that a driver was driving rashly, if s/he is unable to control the speed. A bench of Justice Vinay Deshpande also held that speeding a vehicle in a densely populated and busy area, would reflect the rash and negligent driving, on part of the driver.
The ruling was delivered while dismissing the application of a 25-year-old man challenged his conviction and three years rigorous imprisonment punishment. He was convicted by a court for mowing down a seven year old boy, who died on the spot. The incident took place in December 2004 at the outskirts of Ahmednagar city.
The convict argued that he wasn’t driving his tempo in a rash or negligent manner. He claimed that his tempo was only speeding. Having considered the facts, Justice Deshpande said, “Speed alone is not a criteria to reach to the conclusion about the rashness on the part of the driver of the offending vehicle, it will be one of the factor as an indicator to show that the driver was driving the vehicle in most rash and negligent manner if he is unable to control the speed of the vehicle.
However, at the same time, it will be one of the factor as an indicator to show that the driver was driving the vehicle in most rash and negligent manner if he is unable to control the speed of the vehicle.” The bench also said that there can be no “straight jacket” formula as to what speed will be the high speed and which could be said as factor to determine the rashness.
The bench noted that the accident took place in a busy area, which was densely populated. “It is expected from a driver not to drive the vehicle at very high speed at such places. When the driver, inspite of knowing the fact that the spot of the incident is thickly populated and very busy road, still allows himself to drive the vehicle in very high speed, in my view, it will be one of the shade of driving the vehicle in rash and negligent manner,” Justice Deshpande observed.
“In this incident, had the driver at the relevant time, drove the vehicle, not in a rash and negligent manner, life of a boy, aged about seven years, could have been saved. Due to the rash and negligent act on the part of the convict, his precious life was cutshort,” Justice Deshpande observed. The judge, accordingly, dismissed the plea filed by the convict