1) Introduction

         The original Indian Penal Code had no provision for punishment in those cases where a person causes death of person by negligence. Liability for causing death was limited only to cases of murder and culpable homicide not amounting to murder . To fill in the gap, Section 304-A was inserted in the Indian Penal Code (Amendment) Act 27 of 1870 to cover those cases wherein the person causes the death of another by such acts as are rash or negligent but there is no intention to cause death and no knowledge that the act will cause death. Section 304-A of Indian Penal Code, 1860 deals with homicide by rash and negligence.. (See... Difference between rash and negligence )  

2) Causing death by negligence (Section 304-A)

              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 with both.


              To bring a case of homicide under Section 304-A Indian Penal Code the following conditions must be satisfied :

(1) There must be death of the person in question.

(2) The accused must have caused such death and

(3) Such act of the accused was rash or negligent and that it did not amount to culpable homicide.

      If death is not the direct result of negligent act on the part of the accused Section 304A of Indian Penal Code will not apply.

     A Person driving Vehicle is under duty a to control that vehicle. If the Driver is not rash, he is not liable for the death of a person who, while suddenly crossing the road, comes under the wheels of his vehicle.
    The offence under Section 304-A is cognizable, bailable, non-compoundable and triable by Magistrate of the first class.

Relevant Case law 

(i) M.H. Lokre Vs. State of Maharashtra AIR 1972 SC 221

       In this case the appellant who was not driving rashly was not held guilty under Section 304A of Indian Penal Code 1860.

See also

1) Difference between Rash and Negligence act

2) Dowry Death (Section 304-B, Indian Penal Code, 1860)

3) Punishments under the Indian Penal Code,1860

4) Wrongful restraint under the Indian Penal Code

5) Deaf and Dumb witnesses under Section 119 of Indian Evidence Act 1872


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