Man booked for rash driving, hurting cow

Representative image.

In a rare case, a Chandigarh resident has been booked not only for rash and negligent driving  but also for hurting a cow and a calf on a busy road in the city.

The speeding car hit the cow which succumbed to injuries on the road a few hours later, while the calf survived the impact.

After the incident, the driver ‘fled the scene’.

The Chandigarh police later booked the driver under Section 279 of the IPC which deals with rash driving. Sources said, the driver has also been booked under Section 429 of the IPC which deals with the criminality of 'mischief by killing cattle, poisoning, maiming or rendering useless, any elephant, camel, horse, mule, buffalo, bull, cow or ox.' 

The case has generated curiosity even among legal circles since the section of rash driving talks about only endangering human life and not animals on roads or otherwise, Mohit Garg, Punjab and Haryana High Court advocate , told DH.

According to the police, Manok Kumar, one of the passerby and the complainant in the case, witnessed the accident around midnight and immediately dialed for police assistance.

Kumar claims the animal department concerned was informed to help the injured cattle and also that the department responded late.

Garg opined that the provisions of Section 429 would apply only when there is a motive and deliberate attempt to kill or maim the animals.

This section attracts a maximum punishment of up to 5-years, he said.

Garg maintained that while the police can evoke these sections, it will be for the court to decide on the validity of these provisions on the basis of the circumstances and evidence.

He also said the local civic authorities too can be made liable for damages for not providing safe lanes to drivers amid the presence of stray cattle on roads.

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