Section 304A in The Indian Penal Code

304A. Causing death by negligence.—Whoever causes the death of any 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.

It relates to cases where the homicide is caused by negligence. It does not apply to cases where the death has arisen, not from the negligent or rash mode of doing the act, but from some result supervening upon the act which could not have been anticipated. Under this section rash or negligent act must be the direct or proximate cause of death. The two essential elements are:

1) Rash or negligent act,

2) Not amounting to culpable homicide.

Rash or negligent act

If the death results from injury intentionally inflicted this section does not apply. Death should have been the direct result of the rash and negligent act and that act must be the proximate and efficient cause without the intervention of another’s negligence.

Criminal rashness is hazarding a dangerous or wanton act with the knowledge that it is so, and that it may cause injury, or knowledge that injury will probably be caused.

Criminal negligence is acting without the consciousness that the illegal and mischievous effect will follow but in circumstances, which show that the actor has not exercised the caution incumbent upon him and that if he had he would have had the consciousness.

Not amounting to culpable homicide

The rash or negligent act which is declared to be a crime is one not amounting to culpable homicide, and it must be therefore be taken that intentionally or knowingly inflicted violence, directly and willfully caused, is excluded.


Whoever causes death by doing any rash or negligent act shall be punished with imprisonment, which may extend to two years, or fine, or with both