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Under new law, 10-year jail in hit-and-run cases | India News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: The enactment of the new penal law, Bharatiya Nyay Sanhita, which now remains only a formality, aims to curb the menace of hit and run accident cases, which annually claim around 50,000 lives. As per the new provision, if any accused causing a fatal crash flees from the site without reporting to authorities, he/she will end up in jail for up to 10 years and pay a fine.
However, experts feel the rules must bring clarity on how an accused or driver informs the authorities considering they may face the risk of people’s anger at accident spots and also to ensure this provision is not misused.
Union home minister Amit Shah told both the Houses of Parliament this week that the government has introduced provision of stricter penalty for people who flee from the spot after causing a road crash and leave victims to die whereas there will be some leniency shown for those who voluntarily inform police and take the injured to hospital. There is no such provision in the Indian Penal Code.
The Bharatiya Nyay Sanhita passed by Parliament has created two categories under “causing death by negligence”. It says whoever causes death by doing any rash or negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide, shall be punished with jail of up to five years and fine. The second part says, whoever causes death by rash and negligent driving not amounting to culpable homicide, and escapes without reporting it to a police officer or a magistrate soon after the incident, shall be punished with up to 10-year imprisonment and fine.

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Hit and run cases are those where the driver of the vehicle that caused the road crash flees the scene. Currently, the accused in hit and run cases are tried under Section 304A after their identification, which provides for penalties of up to two-years in jail.

Road safety expert Rohit Baluja, who trains police officers on crash investigation and legal provisions, said the government needs to spell out what sort of evidence will be accepted for authenticity of claims by the victim or the accused to prevent misuse of this provision. “Unless the forensic evidence is made on the basis of investigation and rules framed to safeguard the innocent, people may misuse it. Currently, hardly any forensic evidence is used in road crash cases,” he added.


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