Indian Penal Code (IPC)
Section 304A. Causing death by negligence
1[304A. Causing death by negligence.—Whoever causes the death of any person by doing any rash or negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.]
CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE
Punishment—Imprisonment for 2 years, or fine, or both—Cognizable—Bailable—Triable by Magistrate of the first class—Non-compoundable.
If there is an accident because of the negligence of the gateman in keeping the gate open and inviting the vehicles to pass, the driver of the bus cannot be held guilty of negligence; S.N. Hussain v. State of Andhra Pradesh, AIR 1972 SC 685.
Distinction between rash and negligent act
The appellant was charged with an offence under section 304A for causing death of one M by contact with the electrically charged copper wire which he had fixed up at the back of his house with a view to prevent the entry of intruders into his latrine. It was held that the voltage of the current passing through the naked wire being high enough to be lethal, there could be no dispute that charging it with current of that voltage was a rash act done in reckless disregard of the serious consequences to people coming into contact with it for which the accused is solely responsible under section 304A; Cherupin Gregory v. State of Bihar, 1964 (1) Cr LJ 138: AIR 1965 SC 205.
In order to impose criminal liability on the accused, it must be found as a fact that collusion was entirely or mainly due to the rashness or negligence; Munile Sao v. State of Bihar, (1997) 3 Crimes 200 (Pat).
1. Ins. by Act 27 of 1870, sec. 12.