IPC 279 – Indian Penal Code Section 279 Rash Driving or Riding on a Public Way

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IPC 279: With the increase in auto-mobiles on the road these days the roads have been much of a stunt. With 30 million cars running all over India it is hard to say if the people behind the wheels are always responsible. Due to increasing numbers of accidents caused by rash driving the legislature was forced to impose and with immediate effect  the Indian Penal Code  Section-279 in the year 2007.

Background of IPC 279

It is unfortunate that everyday there is an article in the newspaper notifying about the untimely death of a mother or a child going to their schools by accident. Rash driving claims approximately sixty thousand lives per year across the country. Bus drivers in the greed to get more passengers in order to make an extra rupee advance along the highway desperately trying to stay ahead. These drivers are often found to be indirectly engaged in a race with other competitors to make more out of the day and with this there is a high probability of fatal accidents.

Drunk drivers and the youth are taking the road as a race course as though it is their right to be ahead ignoring the laws that may govern their action. When such a fate is met by an innocent bypasser the police files the case under the Indian penal code  Section-279. Metropolitan cities have seen the worst of it and for those reasons Indian Penal Code Section-279 is imposed.

Overview of IPC 279

Indian Penal CodeSection-279
ConcernRash and Negligent driving.
Penalty6 months imprisonment, 1000 Rupees fine.

What is Said in Indian Penal Code Section-279?

Anyone who drives any sort of automobile or vehicle on public grounds with no consent to safety on the pedestrians hence being negligent or rash  in a way that causes danger to an individual or harms them in any way will be punishable under the Indian Penal Code Section-279.

If any individual owns a carthen they should understand that they have some sort of advantage over those who don’t as they would be controlling a metal body with high degrees of momentum that could be lethal for anybody coming in contact against it. Withholding civic sense and a sense of responsibility one should drive carefully as a small mistake can endanger a life which could result in the driver getting arrested. So, Individuals should maintain conduct and drive carefully along the road. Follow the traffic rules and be cautious when you go about your daily routine in a vehicle.

Severity of The Situation

In a densely populated public area where the streets are filled with people walking around freely on the streets it is a probability that the rash driving and negligence of an individual can cause multiple casualty in that scenario and regardless of being on purpose or unknowingly the driver is liable to be penalised under the Indian Penal Code Section-279.

IPC 279 - Indian Penal Code Section 279
IPC 279 – Indian Penal Code Section 279

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What is Negligent and Rash Driving Under Indian Penal Code Section 279?

If someone steering a vehicle does so without following the traffic safety rules it can be accounted as an offense. The mindlessness of the driver could  become a factor for rashness and negligent driving. Nonetheless, driving in a pace beyond the speed limit may not be considered as reckless driving. If there is an emergency or provided that the road is empty we could see that this action would not cause any kind of harm to anyone. Thus, it cannot be accounted as rash driving.

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has measured and allotted a speed limit for certain areas under circumstances it would not be considered negligent driving if they drift up a little over the limit. But, If a driver is carelessly manoeuvring through a public place, which could result in casualties could land you a place in prison.

Penalties Under Indian Penal Code Section-279

If you are found guilty of the felony mentioned above with reference to  Indian Penal Code Section-279 you would be prosecuted which could be imprisonment for a duration of six consecutive months or half a year with a penalty of INR thousand rupees or sometimes both. The severity of the incident or crime would further decide on the penalty.

What if the Driver Causes Injury or Death to a Pedestrian?

In case the rash driving and the negligence of a driver results in death or physical injuries to a pedestrian then he/she is liable to face charges under the Indian Penal Code Section-279 and also under Indian Penal Code Section-337 and Indian Penal Code Section-338 which could mean that you could be imprisoned for the violation for upto two years with a hefty penalty excluding the medical attention bill for the victim. In cases where the driver is under the influence of alcohol or narcotics he/she would also be guilty under Indian Penal Code Section-304A.

The offence would collectively deem you guilty for Indian Penal Code Section-337 i.e cause of harm by endangering personal safety of other people, Indian Penal Code Section-338 i.e resulting in severe injuries by endangering safety and live of other people and Indian Penal Code  Section-304A i.e causing death to an individual via negligence.

Nature of Offense

This violation is punishable under the court of law with reference to Indian Penal Code Section-279 where the police officer has the right to restrain or arrest the violator without a warrant. This offense is bailable and triable by the magistrate that has the authority over the area of the crime scene.

It is a cognizable offence i.e the police has the right to arrest a violation without a warrant.

Any violation that falls under the Indian Penal Code is  compoundable which means that the complainant can come to an arrangement and retrieve the case levied against the accused.


If you are accused of a felony under IPC  Section-279 you should not be absent during your case hearing as it is bound to go against you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Indian Penal Code?

A manuscript that consists of all the possible crimes that may have happened or will happen in the society. This code applies to any offense committed by an Indian on an Indian ground registership or aircraft. The Indian Penal code was adopted by Pakistan and Bangladesh as they were also a part of British India and also as the British authorities operated in countries like Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Singapore, Most of the codes are identical to the Indian Penal Code.

What is the offense linked to Indian Penal Code Section-279?

Driving on a public road with negligence and rashly which could lead to hampering and endangering the lives of the pedestrians in that area is the offence linked to Indian Penal Code Section-279.

What is the penalty for a case filed under Indian Penal Code Section-279?

The accused shall be imprisoned for a duration of six months or is liable to pay a penalty of INR one thousand or both in some cases.

Is Indian Penal Code Section-279 a non-cognizable offense?

No, The offense under Indian Penal Code Section-279 is not a non-cognizable offense.

Is Indian Penal Code Section-279 a bailable offense?

A case filed under Indian Penal Code Section-279 is a bailable offense.

What court does the trial for a case filed under Indian Penal Code Section-279?

Any court can initiate the trial process regarding a case filed under Indian Penal Code Section-279.

How should I approach a case filed under IPC  Section-279?

If you plead guilty then you are liable to pay a penalty according to the judgement of the court but you can bargain in the court. However, If you do so you will be registered as a criminal in the eyes of law and treated as convicted in a legal sense.

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How do I  handle the invoking of the IPC Section-279?

You should try a settlement with the authorities itself as hiring a lawyer and taking the matter to the court can prolong the scenario. This would also have a negative impact on your career as when you go for an interview to a company and if they ask you to provide a Police clearance certificate this could damage your reputation as the board would see you as a criminal so the best thing you can do is apologize, pay for the medical bill and promise not to repeat it again.

Will there be any issue if a student applying for a student Visa is charged under IPC Section-279?

If there is a case filed under IPC Section-279 under your name then it indicates that there is an FIR lodged against you. In that case you should request a final report from the Police Station as if you are applying for a student visa then a police verification is required which shows that you have a criminal history and you will be denied.

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Is a case filed under the IPC Section-279 a compoundable case?

No, any offence under IPC Section-279 is not a compoundable case.However, the violation can be compoundable upon permitted from the court.

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