Section 279 of the Indian Penal Code

As per Section 279 of the Indian Penal Code, any individual found guilty of rash or negligent driving, endangering human life, can be punished by law. As per the law, such an individual can be imprisoned for a period of up to 6 months, fined Rs.1,000, or both.

Negligent driving refers to a situation wherein an individual is driving without following the basic road safety rules, putting other people’s lives at risk. 

In the case of injury to or death of a person due to negligent driving, the driver will be booked under Section 337 and Section 338 of the Indian Penal Code.

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What is Section 279 IPC?

Under Section 279 of the Indian Penal Code, any individual who is driving or riding a vehicle on any public way in a rash or negligent manner, which may endanger human life or injure other people, will be punished by law. The punishment under this section is imprisonment up to six months, a penalty of ₹1,000, or both.





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Driving/riding a vehicle on public ways in a rash or negligent manner, which endangers human life or is likely to injure others

Imprisonment of up to six months and/or ₹1,000 penalty




Any Magistrate

Now, let's look at what could be considered as reckless or negligent driving.

What is Meant by Negligent and Rash Driving?

When an individual is driving a vehicle without following the driving or road safety rules, it is considered an offence. However, just overspeeding a little does not count as reckless or rash driving. In fact, if the driver is capable of controlling the car at high speed, or if the road being driven on is empty, then it is not considered negligent or rash driving.

However, if an individual is carelessly driving a vehicle on public roads and is likely to put other people’s lives at risk, then they will be found guilty under Section 279 of IPC.

What will Happen if the Driver Causes Death or Injury of a Person?

If the driver of any vehicle causes an accident due to negligent and rash driving, resulting in any physical injuries to a person, then they are considered guilty under Section 279 of the Indian Penal Code. The individual will also be guilty under Section 337 of IPC (causing harm by an act that endangers personal safety or the life of other people), and Section 338 of IPC (causing severe injuries by an act that endangers personal safety or the life of other people).

In case the driver of the vehicle is under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicants and causes an accident that results in the death of a person, they will be considered guilty under Section 304A of the IPC.

This clearly states that Sec 279 IPC only deals with negligent and rash driving/riding on public roads that can put the lives of other people in danger. However, if the driver causes death or any bodily injuries to other people, then the person is also charged under Section 337, Section 338, and Section 304A of the Indian Penal Code.


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Wrapping it up!

If you are found guilty of an offence under Section 279 of IPC, you will have to face the consequences- imprisonment for up to six months, a penalty of up to ₹1,000, or both. Hence, it is your responsibility to drive carefully because even a minor error can send you behind bars.

The government has implemented laws like Section 279 IPC to ensure that Indian roads are safe to travel. Another law under the Motor Vehicle Act is the requirement of a valid motor insurance for your vehicle. So, if you don't have a valid insurance for your car or bike, explore the motor insurance plans available at Bajaj Markets.

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FAQs on Section 279 IPC of MV Act

  • ✔️What offence does Section 279 of IPC define?

    The offence under Section 279 of the Indian Penal Code is about rash and negligent driving on public roads that may put other people’s lives in danger.
  • ✔️What is the punishment for an offense under Section 279 IPC?

    The punishment imposed under Section 279 of IPC is imprisonment of up to six months, penalty, or both.
  • ✔️How to file/defend yourself for IPC 279 offense?

    A best criminal case lawyer can help you file/defend yourself in case you are found guilty under Section 279 of IPC.
  • ✔️Are offences under Section 279 IPC bailable?

    Yes, offences under Section 279 IPC are bailable offences.
  • ✔️Is IPC 279 cognizable or non-cognizable offence?

    Offenses under Section 279 of IPC are cognizable.
  • ✔️What is the IPC 279 punishment?

     The punishment under IPC Sec 279 is imprisonment of up to 6 months, a penalty of up to ₹1,000, or both.

  • ✔️How much is the Section 279 IPC fine amount?

     The fine amount under Section 279 IPC can extend up to ₹1,000.

  • ✔️What is a cognizable offence?

     A cognizable offence is a serious offence where the police can arrest the offender without any warrant.

  • ✔️Is Section 279 IPC a cognizable or non-cognizable offence?

     Section 279 IPC is a cognizable offence.

  • ✔️Is Sec 279 IPC a bailable offence?

     Yes, Section 279 IPC is a bailable offence.

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