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Negligent conduct with respect to explosive substance (Section 286 of IPC)

Shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.”

While Section 285 deals with fire or combustible matter, Section 286 deals with explosive substance. Other provisions of Sections 285 and 286 are alive.

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The Explosives Act, 1884 defines “Explosive substance” thus:

“Explosive (a) means gun-powder, nitroglycerine, dynamite, gun­cotton, blasting powders, fulminate of mercury or of other metals, coloured fibres, and every other substance, whether similar to those above-mentioned or not, used or manufactured with a view to produce a practical effect, by explosion, or a pyrotechnic effect; and (b) includes fog signals, fireworks, fuses, rockets, percussion caps, detonators, cartridges, ammunition of all descriptions, and every adaptation or preparation of an explosive as above defined.”

Section 286 makes elaborate provisions for the custody and transport of explosives. Section 286 is not intended to punish every careless act apart from the probability of danger. On the other hand, what Section 286 punishes is an act in which the accused sees or could foresee the danger.

The offence under Section 286 is cognizable but summons should ordinarily issue in the first instance. It is bailable but not compoundable, and is triable by any Magistrate summarily.

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