Application No. In this context the following passage from Kenny’s Outlines of Criminal Law, 19th Edition (1966) at page 38 may be usefully noted : “Yet a man may bring about an event without having adverted to it at all, he may not have foreseen that his actions would have this consequence and it will come to him as a surprise. If it is merely a case of compensation or reparation for injury or damage caused to a person or property, it is clearly not punishable under either of the sections. For negligence to amount to an offence, the element of mens rea must be shown to exist. There is, in other words, a disregard for the possible consequences. According to the dictionary meaning ‘reckless’ means ‘careless’, ‘regardless’ or heedless of the possible harmful consequences of one’s acts’. It is equally misleading to speak of criminal negligence since this is merely to use an expression in order to explain itself.”. Sec 304 A IPC, deals with medical negligence. Doing an act with the intent to kill a person or knowledge that doing an act was likely to cause a person’s death is culpable homicide. Negligence by Professionals CIVIL LIABILITYA doctor can be held liable for negligence in a civil case. The Supreme Court made the following observations:-. Negligence is an offense under tort, IPC, Indian Contracts Act, Consumer Protection Act and many more. It may consist in omitting to do something which ought to be done or in doing something which ought to be done, either in a different manner or not at all. A negligent act could be civil or criminal depending on the gravity and the nature of the crime along with the degree of intention or lack thereof in a particular case. The essence of criminal liability under Section 304-A IPC is culpable rashness or negligence and not any rashness or negligence. Civil liability i.e. 2 du Code pénal envisage la faute d'imprudence : « lorsque la loi le prévoit, il y a délit en cas d'imprudence, de négligence ou de mise en danger délibérée de la personne d'autrui ».. Attention was also drawn by Lord Atkin to a passage in a considered judgment of Lord Hewart, Lord Chief Justice the passage to which attention was drawn was this: “In a criminal Court, on the contrary, the amount and degree of negligence are the determining questions. He was charged under section 304 (a) of IPC for the negligent driving of a motor bus. Whether such liability is present may depend on the degree of culpability having regard in each case to the particular time, place and circumstances. Medical Negligence basically is the misconduct by a medical practitioner or doctor by not providing enough care resulting in breach of their duties and … I am a history postgraduate from Hansraj College, University of Delhi. The distinction is often an intricate matter and depends on the particular time, place and circumstances. Civil negligence arises – when a patient (or his relative, in case of patient’s death) files suit in a civil court to get compensation from his doctor for the injury or death of the patient due to doctor’s negligence. Every civil negligence is not criminal negligence, and for civil negligence to become criminal it should be of such a nature that it could be termed as gross negligence. Volume 10. This would be a civil liability of the doctor under the law tort and/or contract. What may be negligence in civil law may not necessarily be negligence in criminal law. For purposes of the criminal law there are degrees of negligence, and a very high degree of negligence is required to be proved before the felony is established.”. “8. Eminent jurists and leading judgments have assigned various meanings to negligence. Then the question whether the conduct of the accused amounted to culpable rashness or negligence depends on the amount of care and circumspection which a prudent and reasonable man would consider it to be sufficient and this depends on the circumstances in each case.”, The Supreme Court has explained in details as to when criminal liability would be attracted in cases of medical negligence. The courts have taken into consideration that what act of a doctor should be held as civil liability and what shall extend to the criminal liability. To fasten liability in criminal law, the degree of negligence has to be higher than that of negligence enough to fasten liability for damages in civil law. The criminality lies in running the risk or doing such an act with recklessness and indifference to the consequences. If there were nothing in the circumstances that ought to have drawn the attention of an ordinary prudent individual to the possibility of that kind of harmful consequence, the accused would not be described as ‘reckless’ in the natural meaning of that word for failing to address his mind to the possibility; nor, if the risk of the harmful consequences was so slight that the ordinary prudent individual on due consideration of the risk would not be deterred from treating it as negligible, could the accused be described as reckless in its ordinary sense, if, having considered the risk, he decided to ignore it. The original Indian Penal Code, 1860 had no provision providing punishment for causing death by negligence. The word ‘negligence’ denotes, and should be used only to denote, such blameworthy inadvertence, and the man who through his negligence has brought harm upon another is under a legal obligation to make reparation for it to the victim of the injury who may sue him in tort for damages. Generally speaking, it is the amount of damages incurred which is determinative of the extent of liability in tort; but in criminal law it is not the amount of damages but the amount and degree of negligence that is determinative of liability. The breach of duty has to directly damage the plaintiff. But the nature and extent of the injury or damage will be irrelevant in fixing criminal liability for negligence under the sections. In the context of criminal law, the basic question is quite different. The Supreme court did allow probation after regarding the context of the case. The court also has to take into account the degree of damage done by undertaking that reckless decision. The essence of criminal liability under Section 304-A IPC is culpable rashness or negligence and not any rashness or negligence. Apart from criminal negligence, a doctor can also be punished for various other offences as stated in the Indian Penal Code 1860 (45 of Pursuing compensation for damages from your accident is a civil matter between private parties. That which stands next in causation to the effect, not necessarily in time or space but in causal relation. It is only when this is so that the doer of the act is acting ‘recklessly’ if, before doing the act, he either fails to give any thought to the possibility of there being any such risk or, having recognised that there was such risk, he nevertheless goes on to do it.”. This aspect is also adverted to in paragraph 1374 of Halsbury’s Laws of England, 3rd Edn. Professional negligence can be of 2 types: Civil negligence and Criminal negligence. They can be ascertained only from external and visible acts. 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