By April 19, 2015 December 20th, 2019 No Comments
India has a disreputable record of road accidents.
Drunkenness contributes to careless driving leading to lose of innocent lives.
Section 304A of the Indian Penal Code 1860 was inserted in 1870 by the Indian
Penal Code (Amendment) Act 1870. The section pertains to causing death by
negligence. The present case examines the fundamental purpose of imposition of
sentence for causing death by negligence which is based on the principle that
the accused must realize that the crime committed by him has not only created a
dent in his life but also a concavity in the social fabric. The purpose of just
punishment is designed so that the individuals in the society which ultimately
constitute the collective do not suffer time and again for such crimes.


Jagdish Ram and his nephew (the victims) were proceeding to
Patiala when an Indica car bearing registration No. HR-02-6800 came from the
opposite side at a very high speed and the driver (the Accused/Respondent) of
the said car hit straightaway the car of Jagdish and dragged it to a
considerable distance as a result of which it fell in the ditches. Both the victims had sustained serious
injuries. An FIR was filed against the Respondent, and a case
279/304A of the IPC was registered against the Respondent for
rash and negligent driving. The Respondent was convicted for the offences
punishable under Section 
304A Indian Penal Code and the trial court
sentenced him to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a period of one year and pay
a fine of Rs. 2000/-. The Respondent thereafter approached the High court vide
revision petition against the conviction. The High Court upheld the conviction
and reduced the sentence to the period already undergone on the basis that the
Respondent had adequately compensated the victims. Hence, the present Appeal
has been preferred by the State against the said order.


court dealt with the concept of adequacy of
quantum of sentence imposed by the High Court under Section 
304A of the Indian Penal Code (Indian Penal Code) after
maintaining the conviction of the Respondent.

Decision of the Court
·       The court while analyzing a catena of decisions
opined that in the present case, the factum of rash and negligent driving has
been established. The court further held that the Respondent has graduated himself to harbour the idea that
he can escape from the substantive sentence by payment of compensation.
·    Neither the law nor the court that implements the
law should ever get oblivious of the fact that in such accidents precious lives
are lost or the victims who survive are crippled for life which, in a way, is
worse than death. Young age cannot be a plea to be accepted in all
·   Needless
to say, the principle of sentencing recognizes the corrective measures but
there are occasions when the deterrence is an imperative necessity depending
upon the facts of the case.
·     The apex court held that the High Court has been
swayed away by the passion of mercy in applying the principle that payment of
compensation is a factor for reduction of sentence to 24 days. Such being in
the realm of misplaced sympathy. 

The court while
upholding the conviction reduced the one year sentence imposed by the trial
court to a period of six months.

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