Decided on November 14,1973



G.K. Misra, C.J. - (1.) THE Petitioner, has been convicted under Sections 304 -A and 337, Indian Penal Code and sentenced to R.I. for three months on each count; the sentences to run concurrently. Prosecution case is that on 25 -6 -1965 the Petitioner was driving a truck O.R.C. 4314 from Sorisipada forest towards village Dubri. It was about 7 -30 p.m. in the night. The truck was loaded with 17 logs of timber. the cart track on which the truck was being driven was zigag. The weather was cyclonic and there was heavy rain. While the truck was taking a turn, it dashed against the stump of a tree as a result of which there was a heavy jerk. The rope with which the logs of wood were tied gave way and the persons sitting on the logs fell down. One of the logs fell over one of the labourers named Banamali Behera as a result of which he died. The defence was one of denial. 1, 3 and 5 were occupants of the truck at the time of accident. After he learned Sessions Judge recorded the following finding:
(2.) IT will thus be seen from the evidence extracted above that the Appellant drove the vehicle on a zigzag and irregular cart track at night when there was heavy rain and storm. Instead of stopping the vehicle when the rain and storm started, he drove it in uttar disregard of the life and safety of the persons who were sitting on the load of logs. A prudent driver would not have driven a heavily loaded truck when the road was muddy and the weather was cyclonic. The evidence of p.w. 5 also shows that ' the ' Appellant was, driving the truck at a high speed as he was in a hurry to reach the destination. Due to the rash and negligent driving the truck dashed against the stump of the tree. Mr. Rath took me through the evidence. After going through the same I am satisfied that the finding of fact recorded by the learned Sessions Judge is, substantially borne out by the evidence on record.
(3.) MR . Rath advanced the sole contention that the learned Courts below did not come, to a specific conclusion that the death was the result of rash and negligent act of the Petitioner without the intervention of negligence of persons who tied the logs. He contended that the log of wood were loosely tied by the pains sitting on them and on account of the looseness of tying the rope gave way and the logs of wood were thrown off when the truck dashed against the stump. The contention as no substance. Section 304, -A lays down that whoever causes the death of many person by doing any rash or negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years or with fine or with both. Section 337, enacts that whoever causes hurt to any person by doing any act so rashly or negligently s to endanger, human life, or the personal safety of others, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, or with both. The essential element in both the sections is rash and negligent act.;

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