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‘Traffic offences can fall under IPC’

The Bench’s observation came while striking down a Gauhati High Court order.

The Bench’s observation came while striking down a Gauhati High Court order.  

Offenders can be prosecuted under MV Act and IPC: SC

Stressing the need to strictly punish offenders responsible for causing motor vehicle accidents, the Supreme Court has reiterated that a person can be prosecuted under both the Motor Vehicles (MV) Act and the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for driving dangerously.

A Bench of Justice Indu Malhotra and Justice Sanjiv Khanna noted that there is no provision under the MV Act which separately deals with offences causing death, or grievous hurt, or hurt by a motor vehicle in cases of motor vehicle accidents.

‘Rising traffic injuries’

“With rapidly increasing motorisation, India is facing an increasing burden of road traffic injuries and fatalities,” the bench observed adding, “The financial loss, emotional and social trauma caused to a family on losing a bread winner, or any other member of the family,or incapacitation of the victim cannot be quantified”.

The Bench’s observation came while striking down a Gauhati High Court finding that the prosecution of offenders under two statutes — the MV Act and the IPC — was unsustainable and contrary to law.

It also set aside the Gauhati High Court’s order to Assam, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh to issue appropriate instructions to their subordinate officers to prosecute offenders in motor vehicle accidents only under the provisions of the MV Act and not the IPC.

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