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Report No. 234

8. Recommendations

8.1 Clauses 118, 119, 127, 128, 141, 142 and 143 of the IPC (Amendment) Bill, 1978, as passed by the Council of States on 23.11.1978, are reproduced below:

Clause 118. Amendment of section 279. 'In section 279 of the Penal Code, for the words "which may extend to one thousand rupees" shall be omitted.'

Clause 119. Insertion of new section 279A. "After section 279 of the Penal Code, the following section shall be inserted, namely:-

'279A. Driving unsafe or overloaded vehicle on a public way. Whoever knowingly or negligently drives or permits any person to drive any vehicle on a public way when that vehicle is in such a state or so loaded as to endanger life, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine, or with both.

Explanation.- In this sectio.-

(a) "vehicle" includes any vessel; and

(b) "public way" includes any public water-way.'."

Clause 127. Amendment of section 304A. 'In section 304A of the Penal Code, for the words "two years", the words "five years" shall be substituted.'

Clause 128. Insertion of new section 304B. "After section 304A of the Penal Code, the following section shall be inserted, namely:-

'304B. Causing death or injury by rash and negligent driving. Whoever by rash or negligent driving of any vehicle causes the death of any person or causes any injury which is likely to cause the death of such person, the causing of such death not amounting to culpable homicide, and drives or runs away without informing any police station within a reasonable time, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Explanation 1.- Where the act constituting the offence under section 304A or this section is committed while under the influence of drink or drug shall be deemed to have been committed in a rash or negligent manner.

Explanation 2.- In this section, "vehicle" includes vessel.'."

Clause 141. Amendment of section 336. 'In section 336 of the Penal Code,-

(a) for the words "three months", the words "six months" shall be substituted;

(b) for the words "two hundred and fifty rupees", the words "five hundred rupees" shall be substituted.'

Clause 142. Amendment of section 337. 'In section 337 of the Penal Code,-

(a) for the words "six months", the words "one year" shall be substituted;

(b) the words "which may extend to five hundred rupees" shall be omitted.'

Clause 143. Amendment of section 338. 'In section 338 of the Penal Code,-

(a) for the words "two years", the words 'three years" shall be substituted;

(b) the words "which may extend to one thousand rupees" shall be omitted.'

8.2 The Law Commission of India in its 156th Report, submitted in 1997, affirmed the above changes in the IPC, except that new section 304B was recommended to be inserted as sub-section (2) in section 304A because the number could not be '304B' in view of the amendment of the IPC by Act 43 of 1986 inserting section 304B relating to dowry death.

8.3 We reaffirm the changes in the IPC as carried out by clauses 118, 119, 127, 128, 141, 142 and 143 of the IPC (Amendment) Bill, 1978, as passed by the Council of States on 23.11.1978, subject to the modifications suggested in the subsequent paragraphs.

8.4 The Law Commission of India now feels that even the maximum term of imprisonment of five years in section 304A, IPC would not be adequate on the touchstone of the theory of deterrence keeping in view the present days' practical reality and the same should be increased to ten years (also for the proposed sub-section (2) thereof). It is also felt that the offence under section 304A, IPC should be non-bailable.

8.5 Causing death of any person through driving under the influence of drink or drugs should be punishable with the minimum term of imprisonment of two years.

8.6 Any second or subsequent offence under section 304A, IPC, if the rash or negligent act involved is the act of driving other than driving under the influence of drink or drugs, should be punishable with the minimum term of imprisonment of one year.

8.7 The maximum term of imprisonment in section 279/ (proposed) section 279A, IPC should be increased to five years and any second or subsequent offence thereunder should be punishable with the minimum term of imprisonment of six months.

8.8 Any second or subsequent offence under section 336, IPC, if committed within three years of the commission of the previous similar offence and the rash or negligent act involved is the act of driving, should be punishable with the maximum term of imprisonment of two years.

8.9 Any second or subsequent offence under section 337, IPC, if committed within three years of the commission of the previous similar offence and the rash or negligent act involved is the act of driving, should be punishable with the maximum term of imprisonment of three years.

8.10 Any second or subsequent offence under section 338, IPC, if the rash or negligent act involved is the act of driving, should be punishable with the maximum term of imprisonment of five years.



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