summons to car owner

in 304 ipc criminal case does the car owner gets the summons from the court if the car driver is accused.


After reading your query, I would like you to know that 

Death caused by a negligent act can be booked under section 304(A) of IPC. The punishment for the accused includes a minimum of two years of imprisonment and/or paying of fines. 

There can be various scenarios wherein the liability may fall on the car owner

Case 1 - When the Car Owner is not present during the accident

if the car owner is not present during the accident, usually the liability does not fall on them. Whether it’s a case of negligent driving or a case of drunken driving, the onus is on the person driving. However, the car owner can be liable if the car was not in a roadworthy condition.

Case 2 - If the Car Owner is present during the accident

The car owner (the one in whose name the vehicle is registered) is not liable as long as he has not instigated the driver to drive fast and rashly. If the owner of the car has actively instigated the driver to drive rashly or consented to the accident, then the car owner can be liable.

Case 3 - If there exists a master-servant (driver/employer)relationship

in the case that the car owner has hired the driver i.e. they share a driver (servant) and master (employer) situation, then the car owner may be vicariously liable to the acts of the driver. This will only be applicable when the car driver commits the accident in the course of his employment.

If the accident took place, not in the course of employment, the car owner will not be held liable

Hope this helps!


Meghna Mishra


Appellate Criminal Defence Advocate


The responsibility u/s 304A which is understood in legal parlance as negligent homicide, in case of MV, is on the person driving the vehicle. If diver is not the owner then, it is only driver who is responsible. In cases in which driver could not be identified, a presumptive responsibility may fall on the registered owner. The vicarious liability of the owner, if not the driver is under MV act for compensation etc. The owner will get notice from MV Tribunal not the court trying 304 A.



Abhishek Tiwari    




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