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Kerala HC: Reckless Slow Driving is still Rash & Negligent Driving

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rash driving case - law insider

Shivani Gadhavi

Published On: December 13, 2021 at 16:00 IST

The Kerala High Court ruled that even if a vehicle is being driven at a low speed it will amount to rash and negligent driving if the vehicle is being driven recklessly.

The person driving the vehicle would be held under Section 279 (rash and negligent driving) of the Indian Penal Code.

A Division Bench of Justices Anil K. Narendran and P.G. Ajithkumar was hearing a suo motu case taken up by the High Court with regards to a report of a Sabarimala Temple devotee who stated that negligent driving of the tractors carrying goods to the Temple is putting lives of pilgrims in danger.

The Bench stated, “A person who drives a vehicle on the road is liable to be held responsible for the act as well as for the result. It may not be always possible to determine with reference to the speed of a vehicle whether a person was driving rashly and negligently. Both these acts presuppose an abnormal conduct. Even when one is driving a vehicle at a slow speed but recklessly and negligently, it would amount to ‘rash and negligent driving’ within the meaning of the language of Section 279 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.”

The Bench cited the Case of Ravi Kapur v. State of Rajasthan [(2012) 9 SCC 284] where the Apex Court held that rash and negligent driving had to be examined in the light of Facts and circumstance given in the Case.

The Bench closed the Case after directing the concerned authorities to take all the necessary measure which would ensure the safety of the pilgrims from the tractor carrying goods to the Temple.

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