Karnataka High Court: The Dharwad Bench of Karnataka High Court recently held that over speeding is not necessary to constitute rash driving. In this case, the accused was driving in a rash and negligent manner so as to endanger human life or likely to cause hurt or injury to others and as a result he hit a cyclist who succumbed to the injuries received as a result of the accident. The accused has appealed, inter alia, on the ground that the courts below ignored the fact that near the place where the alleged accident took place there were speed breakers and traffic signals, and as such, it was impossible for the alleged offending vehicle to go in a high speed.

The Court observed that by the word ‘rash driving’ it cannot be automatically imagined that the vehicle alleged to be rash in its driving should also necessarily be coupled with high speed. Court referred the Supreme Court’s judgment in Ravi Kapur v. State of Rajasthan, (2012) 9 SCC 284. In that judgment the Hon’ble Apex Court relied upon its previous judgment of Mohd. Aynuddin v. State of A.P., (2000) 7 SCC 72, wherein it was observed that a rash act is primarily an overhasty act. From the observation made by the Hon’ble Apex Court, the High Court concluded that to constitute a rash and negligent driving it is not necessary that the offending vehicle must have always exceeded its speed limit or over speeded. Failure to exercise the required care and caution expected to be taken by a driver in a circumstance, in which he was driving would constitute a negligent driving. [Moulasab v. State of Karnataka, 2018 SCC OnLine Kar 640, dated 11-06-2018]

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