Part 304 (A): What’s negligence?

Section 304 (A): What is negligence? written by Prapti Kothari student at the Institute of Law at Nirma University



The complainant was the RTC bus driver and took the bus from Kurnool to Vanaparthy. On January 1st, 1966 the bus left Kurnool at around 6.15 a.m. and reached the level crossing gate between 6.30 a.m. and 7.00 a.m. When the complainant approached the level crossing on his bus, the gate that controlled a gatekeeper was open.

When a freight train unexpectedly hit the back of the bus, the complainant fell through the gate and crossed the track of the railroad, causing heavy losses to the travelers. Of the 43 commuters, one died on the scene, three later died in hospital, and about twenty-one commuters were injured more or less seriously. When a freight train tried to reach the gate, the complainant was accused of having been inconsiderate or negligent in crossing the railway line.

In addition, there are a few other facts to consider. Due to the rough terrain near the intersection, the bus was not driven and could not be driven quickly. The level crossing gate, which is a manned gate, was open, indicating that no train was due to arrive at that time, and greeting vehicles to cross. Babool trees covered the railroad track, so a passing train approaching from a distance was not noticeable from the bus. Since the bus was not equipped with a silencer, it made considerable noise. Some of the bus windows were shut down to make it easier for passengers on the bus as a strong wind was blowing. There is no evidence that the train emitted sirens or whistles when entering the level crossing. In any case, there is no evidence that any of the bus passengers heard whistles.


Did the complainant negligently cross the railway line when the freight train tried to pass the gate?


Section 304 (A) of India’s 1860 Criminal Code (hereinafter referred to as IPC).


The decree on conviction and punishment was repealed and the applicant dismissed as a result of the success of the complaint.


The SN Hussain v. Andhra Pradesh case deals primarily with Section 304 (A) of the IPC relating to the cause of death from negligence. The term “negligence” used in this section does not mean mere negligence. The rash or negligence must be such that it can be described as a criminal act of negligence or rash. In both cases, however, the death caused does not constitute culpable murder. It is the degree of negligence that really determines whether a particular act, as described in this section, is premature and negligent.

According to this section, the act can only be regarded as a hasty and negligent act if the hasty and negligent act is such that the danger for the perpetrator of the act is very serious or is committed with such ruthlessness and complete disregard and calluses Follow this act. In order to enforce criminal liability under this clause, it must be established that death must be the direct result of the defendant’s reckless and negligent act. It has to be the intimate or immediate cause, and it is not enough that it is the subsequent or more immediate cause.

In general, it is believed that a person driving a motor vehicle is always in control of their vehicle so they will not hit another vehicle or run over a pedestrian who may be on the road.

For example, A (the defendant) ran over B (the deceased) while B tried to cross the street. A did not try to save the deceased by diverting them to the other side of the street if there was enough space. This is a result of his hasty and negligent driving. Thus, A would be found guilty and convicted under Section 304A IPC.


If a level crossing is unmanned or unmanned, it may be right to make sure that the driver of the vehicle stops the vehicle, checks it in both directions and does not drive his vehicle until he has made sure that there is no danger of the railroad to approach track. However, when a gatekeeper is guarding a level crossing and the gatekeeper opens the gate to allow vehicles to proceed, it is unusual to ask a sensible and vigilant driver to stop their vehicle and watch for an incoming train.

Negligent misconduct arises from the inability to exercise reasonable, fair and reasonable caution, the degree of coherence of which will vary from case to case. Here the complainant cannot even foresee at what time the freight train will arrive with plausible care. The complainant was therefore not liable for any criminal negligence. Due to the goalkeeper’s failure to keep the gate open and let the vehicles move on, this was a simple case of an inevitable event.

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