• Require Lawyer in Bangalore for Section 304(a) Defence

I am the MD of a private limited company.

We lost a worker in a site accident.
I have settled the widower with compansation and she has signed the settlement agreement and the document is notorised.
The worker was covered under ESI.

However, the police has registered a Case against me and another 3 collegues of mine in the company under section 304[a]. FIR has been registered for death due to negligence against me as an employer.

All 4 of us have anticipatory bail. 

Need professional guidance on outcome if it goes to court.
Asked 5 months ago in Criminal Law from Banaglore, Karnataka
Religion: Hindu
1) how did the accident happen? 

2) was the employee wearing safety gear ? 

3) was death   due to negligence of the worker?

4) need complete facts of the case to advise 

5) police will have to prove death arose on account of your negligence and that of other accused 
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23217 Answers
1219 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
It is a compoundable offence.  
Since you have already settled the compensation to the Kins of deceased, you may ask them to arrive at a compromise settlement out of court and present an application before court to that effect during the beginning of trial after which the court acquit you from the case.
You may even talk to the APP about this through your lawyer, who will certainly agree to this compromise petition under section 320 cr.p.c.
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
14006 Answers
127 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
The criminal case has to be contested on merits unless withdrawn the complainant. You can search this portal for a Bangalore based lawyer.
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
18102 Answers
448 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
Hi 

The Supreme Court has clarified that the section 304-A of I.P.C. is applicable only when death is caused due to rash and negligent act of the accused, which is an essential element to attract said provision.

The requirement of section 304-A of I.P.C. is that; death of any person must have been caused by the accused doing any rash or negligent act. In other words, there must be conclusive proof that the rash and negligent act of the accused was the proximate cause of death.

In  Empress of India v. Idu Beg13, Straight J., explained the meaning of criminal rashness and criminal negligence in the following words: criminal rashness is hazarding a dangerous or wanton act with the knowledge that it is so, and that it may cause injury but without intention to cause injury, or knowledge that it will probably be caused. The criminality lies in running the risk of doing such an act with recklessness or indifference as to the consequences. Criminal negligence is the gross and culpable neglect or failure to exercise that reasonable and proper care and precaution to guard against injury either to the public generally or to an individual in particular, which, having regard to all the circumstances out of which the charge has arisen, it was the imperative duty of the accused person to have adopted.

Your defense should be on the following lines : 

1)  Demonstrating that the  employment terms, nature of work, safety practices prevalent at work place are well established, published and employees are well aware and acquainted with the facts thereof. (including the deceased) .  

2) That the workers are aware and Knowledgeable that  non adherence to safety procedures will result in greivous injuries including death. 

3) That the accident was a result of negligence by the employees OR unforeseen or uncomprehendable. 


4)  An accident may lead to death but that an accident had taken place must be proved. Only because a death has taken place in course of employment will not amount to accident. In other words, death must arise out of accident. There is no presumption that an accident had occurred.

More so since you have already paid the compensation to the worker, you have demonstrated your good intentions and also proven. 
So if the defense is on the lines that the episode was  an accident and it was not a case of NEGLIGENCE OR RASHNESS, in my view, you will win the case for sure.
Rajgopalan Sripathi
Advocate, Hyderabad
868 Answers
43 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
Hi, It is better you have to file a petition before the Hon'ble High Court for quash the FIR and if the Complaint prima facie reads that there is no material allegation in the Complaint to substantiate for the offence under 304(a) IPC then High Court will quash the FIR.
2. It is my kind advice to you file a petition in the High Court.
Pradeep Bharathipura
Advocate, Bangalore
4105 Answers
133 Consultations
4.3 on 5.0
Only if there is a direct act that was caused by either of you can result in conviction, otherwise in all other cases the benefit of doubt must go in favour of the accused, leading to acquittal. 
the material seized and the investigative report would determine the directness causing or leading to the death of the worker, this will determine the case to be tried by the court. the number of eye witnesses, documents seized, the nature of work assigned and the contractor who deployed the worker at the site are some other mitigating factors that need to be determined.
Conviction may be for a term of 2 years or with fine, or with both.
Kiran N. Murthy
Advocate, Bangalore
765 Answers
50 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0

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