In a first, Supreme Court has favoured a stringent punishment under section 304A of Indian Penal Code, which has a provision for a maximum jail term of two years. While hearing a case of rash driving, the apex court favoured a harder punishment for a driver who was found guilty of causing the death of a person. The court said that it has asked the legislature on two occasions to amend the current provisions under the law, which is usually applied in cases of hurt caused due to rash driving. The court remarked the given section as “completely inadequate.” The court has also sought Attorney General’s presence and assistance in the issue. Next hearing in the case is likely to take place next week.
Section 304A of IPC, causing death by negligence provides for a maximum imprisonment of two years or a fine, or both. The law, which is often criticised for being weak in its nature, says that whoever causes the death of any person by doing any “rash or negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide,” can only be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.
It may be noted that the provisions of this section apply to all the cases where it is observed that the act took place with no intention to cause death and no knowledge of the probability of death. The may also include incidents where death is caused due to any other reason then accident.