The Bombay High Court in the case of State of Maharashtra v. Kuldeep Pawar observed that driving at high speed alone will not attract the offence of rash and negligent driving and said that to constitute this offence two components are needed i.e. rashness and negligence. The act will be punishable only if the driving was both rash and negligent. While defining rashness and negligence the court said that. “Rashness implies the speed which is unwarranted. Whereas an act of negligence involves not taking proper care and attention while driving.”
In the present case, a man was charged with offences under Sections 279 (rash and negligent driving), 337 (hurt due to rash and negligent act), 338 (grievous hurt due to rash and negligent act) and 304A (causing death by negligence) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 134 of the Motor Vehicles Act for causing the death of a cyclist and bullock after the car he was driving had hit them.
The trial court acquitted the accused which was then challenged by the State of Maharashtra before the Bombay High Court.
The High Court opined that speed alone cannot be a determinative factor to conclude that the driver was driving the vehicle in a rash and negligent manner and subsequently after examination of other factors, the court upheld the acquittal of the accused.