While driving the vehicle, if the driver has caused an accident by rash and negligent driving which results in an injury of any person then the driver along with section 279 of Indian Penal Code may also be held liable under section 337 punishable with 6 months or fine and section 338 punishable with 2 years or fine, of Indian Penal Code for causing hurt to any person which may result in death of the person. If the driver causes accident negligently which results in death of any person or the driver was found under the consumption of alcohol, then he will be guilty under section 304a of Indian Penal Code.
In this regard, the Punjab and Haryana HighCourt in one of its judgement held that a truck-driver, driving his vehicle rashly and negligently at a high-speed climbed the footpath and hit the deceased from behind causing his death. This act of his rash and negligent driving on a public way held him liable under Sections 279 and304a (Causing death by negligence) of IPC.
Thus, section 279 of IPC only deals with and imposes punishment on a driver for rash and negligent driving or riding on a public way which may put human life at risk but if the act of the driver results in actual injury or death of a person then this section will be read with other sections i.e. section 337 (Causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others),section 338 (Causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), and section 304a ( Causing death by negligence) of Indian Penal Code.
Punishment under Section 279
Whenever a person commits an offence of rash driving or riding on a public way under section 279 of IPC then he/she shall be held liable for imprisonment for a term of 6 months or with a fine which may extend up to 1000 rupees or with both. Such imprisonment and fine will depend upon the seriousness of the crime.
Nature of the offence
The offence punishable under section 279 of IPC is cognizable offence where the police have a right to arrest a person of an offence without a warrant, but such offences are bailable in nature and are triable by the Magistrate who is having the authority over the area wherein such offence has been committed.
Rash driving leads to endless road accidents on a daily basis. The penalty for this has been raised to 1-year imprisonment/or fine of Rs. 1,000-5,000 (for first traffic rule violation) and up to 2 years imprisonment or fine of Rs. 10,000 for the second time offence.