A motor truck was being driven by ‘A’ who had no license for driving. ‘B’ who was the driver of the truck was sitting by the side of ‘A’. The truck, while being thus driven, struck a telegraph pole and hit a passer-by, whose one leg…

By | August 1, 2021
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Question: A motor truck was being driven by ‘A’ who had no license for driving. ‘B’ who was the driver of the truck was sitting by the side of ‘A’. The truck, while being thus driven, struck a telegraph pole and hit a passer-by, whose one leg got crushed and had to be amputated to save his life. What offense if any has been committed by ‘A’ and ‘B’′? [D.J.S. 1990]

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [A motor truck was being driven by ‘A’ who had no license for driving. ‘B’ who was the driver of the truck was sitting by the side of ‘A’. The truck, while being thus driven, struck a telegraph pole and hit a passer-by, whose one leg…]

Answer

In the present case, A and B have committed an offense under Section 338, Indian Penal Code

Section 338 envisages provision for causing grievous hurt by act endangering the life or personal safety of others. It states,

whoever causes grievous hurt to any person by doing any act so rashly or negligently as to endanger human life, or the personal safety of others shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees or both.

The essential ingredients of these sections are:

  1. the act of accused must have resulted in simple or grievous hurt;
  2. the act must be done in a rash and negligent manner; and
  3. the rashness or negligence must be to the extent of endangering human life or the personal safety of others.

These sections will be applicable only in cases where the hurt caused is a direct result of the negligent or rash act. In Alister Anthony Pereira v. State of Maharashtra [(2012) 2 SCC 648], the appellant drove a car rashly or negligently and killed seven persons sleeping on the pavement. He was convicted under Sections 304A and 338, Indian Penal Code,1860.

On appeal, Supreme Court upheld his conviction and sentence. It ruled that criminal rashness or negligence is a dangerous or wanton act carried with the knowledge that it may or will probably cause injury, but with no intention of causing it. The criminality lies in running the risk of doing such an act with reckless or indifference to the consequences.

In such a case, it held, knowledge of the dangerous consequences referred to in Section 338, Indian Penal Code, 1860 can be safely presumed, if he, having regard to the circumstances he was placed in, has failed to exercise reasonable care and precaution to guard against injury either to the public generally or to an individual in particular.


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