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Punishment for Causing Death by Rashness or Negligence Act in India

The consideration that the person killed also acted rashly or negligently and thereby partly contributed to his death shall not carry any weight in determining the guilt of the offender.

‘Rash’ and ‘negligent’:

Rash or negligent act is an act done not intentionally or designedly. A rash act is primarily an over-hasty act as opposed to deliberate act. Negligence is the breach of duty imposed by law. The question is that when a person in a drunken state uses a fire-arm, whether his conduct would be termed as rash or negligent.

The act was both rash and negligent. The word “rashly” means something more than inadvertence or intentiveness or want of ordinary care. A person who acts rashly shows indifference to obvious consequences and to the rights of others and does not mind whether a danger would result or not.

A rash act is indicative of disregard of consequences. A drunken person firing a gun at random near the bus-stand does show negligence and he can be held guilty of the offence under Section 326, I.P.C.

Rash and negligent and intentional act:

If the act is intended to hurt and injure a specific object, the perpetrator of the act must be imputed with an intentional act done with consideration and cannot amount to a ‘rash’ and ‘negligent’ act.

The case of Tapti Prasad v. Emperor, is a leading case on Section 304-A, i.e., death through negligence. It illustrates the meaning of a rash act.