Rash, negligent drivers need to fear the law whether they like it or not: Supreme Court

Rash, negligent drivers need to fear the law whether they like it or not: Supreme Court
Representational Image. Picture Courtesy: Patrika.com

People need to fear the law whether they like it or not, the Supreme Court said on Tuesday while calling for harsher punishment for rash and negligent driving.

Currently, offenders can be jailed for a maximum of two years under the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act and section 304A (causing death by rash and negligent act) of Indian Penal Code.

A punishment which the bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy found inadequate to deter errant drivers.

“Whether people like it or not, there should be fear of law among them,” the bench said while expressing concern over lives lost due to “drunken, rash, reckless, high-speed and adventurous” driving.

“The driver not only becomes a threat to himself but also to others and no amount of compensation can be a substitute for life loss,” it added.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the bench that he is already working with respective authorities to ensure there is stricter punishment for such kind of driving.

According to a PTI report, the bench had sought Rohatgi’s assistance to know the fate of apex court’s suggestions, given in two earlier verdicts, to Parliament to revisit the law dealing with mishaps causing death and injury to innocents on roads due to rash and negligent driving.

He said that the law needs to be amended for enhancing the punishment for negligent driving and sought eight weeks time to come back with a reply from the competent authorities.

Rohatgi, who shared the court’s concern on the inadequacy of penal provisions to deal with such cases, said that he agrees that the manner in which vehicular accidents due to reckless driving take place requires ‘stern handling’.

The matter has been posted for further hearing on March 8.

Earlier, Rohatgi had told the apex court that rash and negligent driving by ‘adventurous’ motorists needs to be curbed with an ‘iron hand’.

The top law officer had told the apex court that existing provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act and section 304A (causing death by rash and negligent act) of IPC, were inadequate to deal with the menace.

Following which, the bench asked Rohtagi to approach competent authorities to revisit relevant provisions.

With PTI inputs

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