Offence of accident not within purview of Sect 302 IPC : SC

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New Delhi, Nov 13 (UNI) The Supreme Court has held that an offence of accident can not be brought within the purview of Section 302 of Indian Penal Code (murder).

A bench comprising Justices Arijit Pasayat and P Sathasivam in the judgement delivered yesterday have dropped the charges under Section 302 IPC against a bus driver who tried to cross an unmanned railway crossing despite warning of the passengers that the train was coming.

The incident took place on August 29, 2004 in Madhya Pradesh, when two bus passengers, Bhagoli and Ankush, were killed and many others were injured.

The trial court had framed charges against the driver, Naresh Giri, under Section 302 and alternatively under Section 304, 325 and 323 IPC.

The criminal revision filed by the driver was dismissed by the State High Court.

The apex court in its judgement said, ''normally as rightly observed by the High Court charges can be altered at any stage subsequent to the framing of charges. But the case at hand is one where prima facie Section 302 IPC has no application.

Accordingly, the appeal is allowed. The charges stand altered to Section 304 A IPC along with Sections 279 and 337 IPC.'' The court also noted, ''simple lack of care such as will constitute civil liability, is not enough- for liability under the criminal law a very high degree of negligence is required to be proved. Probably all the epithets that can be applied reckless most nearly covers the case.'' An offence under Section 304 A IPC is bailable and is punishable only with the maximum sentence of two year.


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