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Nationwide Protest By Truck Drivers Against New Hit-And-Run Law

Utkarsh Classes 03-01-2024
Nationwide Protest By Truck Drivers Against New Hit-And-Run Law Transport 7 min read

Protests are being held nationwide against the new Hit and Run law brought by the central government. The amendments made by the government in the Hit and Run law at the end of December 2023 are being opposed across the country.

  • A lot chaos has arisen due to truck drivers' strikes in many states, including Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra. Meanwhile, a meeting was held between All India Transport Congress and the government in Delhi on 2 January 2024. After assurance from the government, it was decided to end the strike.

About Hit and Run:

  • Hit and run cases are related to road accidents. Hit and run means running away, causing harm to life and property due to rash and negligent driving.
  • In such a situation, catching and punishing the culprits becomes very difficult due to a lack of evidence and eyewitnesses.

About the new rules of hit and run: 

  • It is part of three new laws recently passed by Parliament. Hit and run is mentioned in Section 104 of the Indian Judicial Code (BNS), which replaced the IPC.
  • This section provides for punitive action for causing death by negligence.
  • According to Section 104(1), 'Whoever causes the death of any person by doing any act recklessly or negligently which does not amount to culpable homicide. He shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years and shall also be liable to a fine.
  • According to Section 104(2), whoever causes the death of a person by negligent driving amounts to culpable homicide. Runs away immediately after the incident without informing any police officer or Magistrate shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for any term. Which can be extended up to ten years and a fine will also have to be paid.

About the first hit and run law:

  • Hit and run cases in India are not specifically punishable under the Indian Penal Code (IPC). There is a provision for punishment mainly under three sections of the IPC:
  • Section 279 of the IPC provides for the definition and punishment of reckless driving. Provision of punishment under this:
    • which may be extended up to six months or
    • a fine may be imposed or
    • Can be increased upto one thousand rupees or both.
  • Section 304A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) deals with the punishment for causing death by negligence. It will be punishable with imprisonment of up to two years, a fine, or both.
  • Section 338 of the IPC provides for punishment in a situation where the victim has not died but is seriously injured. He shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend upto 2 years or with a fine, or with both.

Hit and Run is related to the Motor Vehicles Act 1988:

  • In hit and run cases, the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988 is applicable. Sections 161, 134(A), and 134(B) of this law specifically pertain to hit-and-run incidents.

Why was there a need for a new rule?

  • The biggest issue in hit-and-run cases is a lack of direct evidence against the culprit at the crime scene. Because of this, it becomes extremely difficult for the police officers to carry forward the investigation and find the culprit. Most of these criminals go away and are rarely caught.
  • The witnesses crucial for the investigation are also hesitant to assist. Because he does not want to get entangled in any kind of legal issue.

Hit-and-run statistics in the country:

  • According to the data of the Road Transport Ministry, the number of hit-and-run road accidents is continuously increasing.
  • In 2020, 52,448 reported hit-and-run cases resulted in the loss of 23,159 lives.
  • This figure increased in 2021 and this year, there were 57,415 such incidents in which 25,938 people died.

Why oppose hit-and-run laws?

  • New rules are causing concern among drivers as they fear repercussions for helping the injured due to potential crowd anger.
  • If you escape the mob, you will have to spend ten years in jail instead of two years.
  • There is a lack of accident investigation protocol in the country.
  • The police blame the big vehicle without doing any scientific investigation.

Government stance on hit-and-run law controversy:

  • The government has made provisions for strict punishment for those who run away after causing road accidents, leaving the victims to die.
  • In this, some leniency will be shown to those who inform the police and take the injured to the hospital. However, there is no such provision in the Indian Penal Code.

FAQ

Answer:- Ten years imprisonment and fine

Answer:- Indian Judicial Code (BNS) 104(2)

Answer:- Two years
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