Punishment Under Section 304A IPC Absolutely Inadequate: Supreme Court

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today termed as “absolutely inadequate” the maximum punishment for causing death by rash or negligent act, of up to two years jail term and a fine prescribed for the offence under the IPC.

The apex court sought the assistance of Attorney General (AG) Mukul Rohatgi to apprise it about the request made by it through its two judgements to Parliament for making the punishment harsher for the offence under section 304A (causing death by rash or negligent act) of the IPC.

A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and C Nagappan said the apex court had twice earlier urged Parliament to consider this issue to make the punishment “harsher” for the offence.

Section 304A IPC prescribes two year jail term along with fine or both.

Referring to the earlier judgements, the bench said it was “clearly indicated that punishment provided under section 304A of IPC is absolutely inadequate”.

“We would like to hear the Attorney General on this issue,” the bench said and asked Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh to apprise the AG about it.

The bench, which posted the matter for hearing on August 30, also observed that the apex court had requested Parliament to amend section 304A IPC so that harsher punishment could be imposed on the offenders.

The court’s observation came while it was hearing a petition on the issue regarding death by negligent act.

The bench told the petitioner that there was no merit in his plea but said it would hear AG on this issue.

“Your special leave petition has no merit. You be around when this matter comes up for hearing. Let the Attorney General come and say what is going on. Let him say whether section 304A IPC requires amendment or not,” the bench said.