The Supreme Court has laid down a rule that a person can be prosecuted under both the Motor Vehicles (MV) Act and the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for driving irresponsibly in order to punish the culprits who are responsible for causing road accidents in India.
A Bench of Justice Indu Malhotra and Justice Sanjiv Khanna came up with the point that there is no provision under the MV Act which takes under consideration the offences causing death, or grievous hurt, or hurt by a motor vehicle in cases of motor vehicle accidents.
“With rapidly increasing motorisation, India is facing an increasing burden of road traffic injuries and fatalities,” the bench observed adding, “The financial loss, emotional and social trauma caused to a family on losing a bread winner, or any other member of the family, or incapacitation of the victim cannot be quantified”.
This decision of the bench was influenced
by a incident of Gauhati High Court in which it was found that the prosecution of offenders under two statutes — the MV Act and the IPC — was unsustainable and contrary to law.
The bench of judges stroke down the Gauhati High Court and because of that Gauhati High Court now can’t order to Assam, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh to issue instructions to their subordinate officers in order to prosecute offenders in motor vehicle accidents only under the provisions of the MV Act and not the IPC.
“If the IPC gives way to the MV Act, and the provisions of CrPC succumb to the provisions of the MV Act as held by the High Court, then even cases of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, causing death, or grievous hurt, or simple hurt by rash and negligent driving, would become compoundable,” the Bench decoded.