Question: A quarrel cropped up between A and B and A slapped on the face of B. With this blow, B lost the balance of his body and fell down on a large stone behind him. A serious wound was caused in the head of B and he died. Is A guilty of the offence of causing death… Read More »

Question: A quarrel cropped up between A and B and A slapped on the face of B. With this blow, B lost the balance of his body and fell down on a large stone behind him. A serious wound was caused in the head of B and he died. Is A guilty of the offence of causing death by rash or negligent act, defined and punishable under Section 304A? Give reasons and also refer to case law, if any, on the point. Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [A quarrel cropped up between A...

Question: A quarrel cropped up between A and B and A slapped on the face of B. With this blow, B lost the balance of his body and fell down on a large stone behind him. A serious wound was caused in the head of B and he died. Is A guilty of the offence of causing death by rash or negligent act, defined and punishable under Section 304A? Give reasons and also refer to case law, if any, on the point.

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [A quarrel cropped up between A and B and A slapped on the face of B. With this blow, B lost the balance of his body and fell down on a large stone behind him. A serious wound was caused in the head…]

Answer:

Section 304A deals with ‘death’ caused by a ‘rash’ or ‘negligent act. This section deals with homicide by negligence and covers that class of offences, where death is caused neither intentionally nor with the knowledge that the act of the offender is likely to cause death, but because of the rash and negligent act of the offender. This clause limits itself to rash and negligent acts which cause death.

Rashness’ conveys the idea of recklessness or doing of an act without due consideration and ‘negligence’ connotes want of proper care. A rash act implies an act done by a person with recklessness or indifference as to its consequences. The doer, being conscious of the mischievous or illegal consequences, does the act knowing that his actions may bring some undesirable or illegal results but without hoping or intending them to occur.

A negligent act, on the other hand, refers to an act done by a person without taking sufficient precautions or reasonable precautions to avoid its probable mischievous or illegal consequences. It implies an omission to do something, which a reasonable man, in the given circumstances, would not do.

So, the essential question to answer is whether in the present case, the act of A was a rash or negligent act? It is the degree of negligence that really determines whether a particular act would amount to a rash and negligent act as defined under this section.

It is only when the rash and negligent act is of such a degree that the risk run by the doer of the act is very high or is done with such recklessness and with total disregard and indifference to the consequences of this act, the act can be constituted as a rash and negligent act under this section.

In order to impose criminal liability under this section, it is essential to establish that death is the direct result of the rash and negligent act of the accused. It must be causa causans—the immediate cause, and it is not enough that it may be causa sine qua non— the proximate cause

It is evident from the facts of the case that there was a quarrel cropped up between A and B and A slapped on the face of B. With this blow, B lost the balance of his body and fell down on a large stone behind him. A serious wound was caused in the head of B and he died.

A here is not guilty of the offence of causing death by rash or negligent act, defined and punishable under Section 304A because he has not done any omission to do something, which a reasonable man, in the given circumstances would not do. It was a mere accident that caused death of B and not acts of slapping by A. A may be punishable for causing simple hurt but not the death of the deceased.


Important Mains Questions Series for Judiciary, APO & University Exams

  1. IPC Mains Questions Series Part I: Important Questions
  2. IPC Mains Questions Series Part II: Important Questions
  3. IPC Mains Questions Series Part III: Important Questions
  4. IPC Mains Questions Series Part IV: Important Questions
  5. IPC Mains Questions Series Part V: Important Questions
  6. IPC Mains Questions Series Part VI: Important Questions
  7. IPC Mains Questions Series Part VII: Important Questions
  8. IPC Mains Questions Series Part VIII: Important Questions
  9. IPC Mains Questions Series Part IX: Important Questions
  10. IPC Mains Questions Series Part X: Important Questions
Updated On 2021-07-21T08:35:53+05:30
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