‘Over-speeding’ Not Necessary To Constitute Rash Driving, Says Karnataka HC [Read Judgment]
‘By the word ‘rash driving’ it cannot be automatically imagined that the vehicle alleged to be rash in its driving should also necessarily be coupled with high speed.’
The Karnataka High Court has observed that it is not necessary that the offending vehicle must have always exceeded its speed limit or over speeded to constitute ‘rash and negligent’ driving.
Justice HB Prabhakara Sastry made this observation while dismissing a revision petition by a lorry driver who was convicted by the trial court under Sections 279, 304 A of Indian Penal Code and under Section 134 r/w. Section 187 of the Motor Vehicles Act. In this case, the lorry driven by the accused had hit a cyclist from his hind side, who sustained injuries and succumbed to it.
One of the contentions raised in the appeal was that the alleged place of accident was a traffic hit area and there were speed breakers as well the traffic signals, as such the alleged offending vehicle lorry could not run in high speed in that area.
Rejecting such a contention, the court said: “By the said statements of these witnesses that there were speed breakers and also a traffic signal near the place of accident, by itself cannot be taken that rash or negligent driving in the said area was not possible. By the word ‘rash driving’ it cannot be automatically imagined that the vehicle alleged to be rash in its driving should also necessarily be coupled with high speed.”
The court also referred to the Supreme Court judgment in Ravi Kapur v. State of Rajasthan and observed that failure to exercise the required care and caution expected to be taken by a driver in a circumstance, in which he was driving would constitute a negligent driving. “An act of driving done without due care and caution though not coupled with high speed still results into a rash driving. Therefore, in the instant case merely because there was said to be few speed breakers on the road and traffic signal near the spot of the accident, by itself cannot be deduced that there was no rash and negligent driving on the part of the driver of the offending vehicle,” the court said dismissing the revision plea.
Read the Judgment Here: