Speeding alone cannot be grounds to book a person for rash driving: Bombay HC

  • The Bombay High Court has recently made it very clear that if a person is driving his/her car at high speeds it would not be considered as a strong basis to charge them for negligent or rash driving. Khizzer Shah a city resident was arrested by the Mumbai police for dangerous and negligent driving. The special powers of HC’s were used by a division bench of Justices Abhay Oka and Prakash Naik to strike down the FIR, “abuse of the process of law”.

    The bench said, "Except a bald statement that the accused was driving negligently, there is no evidence to substantiate the charge.” "The fact that a vehicle is driven at speed, or the fact that a vehicle is not driven at speed, cannot, by itself, without judging the situation in which the driver had been placed, be a factor to determine rashness or negligence. High speed may not, in each case, be sufficient to hold that the driver is rash or negligent,” as added by the bench members.
    The High Court had criticized the police of Shivaji Park for the “casual” ways they were initiating the criminal proceedings in the Khizzer case. "Police have mechanically exercised the power of registration of the FIR against Khizzer in the most casual and cavalier manner. The registration of FIR has caused undue harassment to him." The day Khizzer was driving his car near Shivaji Park is when the case pertains to, that is the night of 24th March 2014.

    The recent statistics given by the government uncovered a shocking fact, in 2015 400 people died everyday due to road accidents. The NDTV data even proved that India had the deadliest roads. The Rajya Sabha was informed by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways that 1,46,133 people were killed due to road accidents in the nation last year as compared to 1,39,671 people in 2014. This was a stark difference of 4.6% increase in the death rate. What’s more is that 13 lakh people have died in the past 10 years due to road accidents. On the positive side, the government is trying to ensure safer roads "an increase in the penalty for drunken driving or increasing the penalty for unauthorized driving, minor driving."


    We agree with the High Court that accidents do not just take place because of speeding rather it is because of negligent driving or rash driving. We feel speeding should not be the only criteria to punish an individual rather other matters surrounding it must be taken in consideration. Though, the drivers must ensure that they are driving responsibly and abiding by all the traffic rules. Speeding must be avoided. Lastly, “speeding thrills but kills” and “Recklessness is a species of crime and should be regarded so on our streets and highways. 

    Visit the Indian Kanoon section of LawRato to learn more on Indian Laws.

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