6. The deceased was of 45 years age and M-14 would be applicable in the present case while learned Tribunal has applied the multiplier of 15. Thus, the appeal deserves to be allowed on this point.
7. Learned counsel for the appellant has further submitted that it was a case of contributory negligence and learned Tribunal has not calculated the award in light of settled principles of contributory negligence.
8. Rash and negligent driving has to be examined in light of the facts and circumstances of a given case. It is a fact incapable of being construed or seen in isolation. It must be examined in light of the attendant circumstances. A person who drives a vehicle on the road is liable to be held responsible for the act as well as for the result. It may not be always possible to determine with reference to the speed of a vehicle whether a person was driving rashly and negligently. Both these acts presuppose an abnormal conduct. Even when one is driving a vehicle at a slow speed but recklessly and negligently, it would amount to ‘rash and negligent driving’ within the meaning of the language of Section 279 Indian Penal Code. That is why the legislature in its wisdom has used the words ‘manner so rash or negligent as to endanger human life’. The preliminary conditions, thus, are that (a) it is the manner in which the vehicle is driven; (b) it be driven either rashly or negligently; and (c) such rash or negligent driving should be such as to endanger human life. Once these ingredients are satisfied, the penalty contemplated Under Section 279 Indian Penal Code is attracted.
9. ‘Negligence’ means omission to do something which a reasonable and prudent person guided by the considerations which ordinarily regulate human affairs would do or doing something which a prudent and reasonable person guided by similar considerations would not do. Negligence is not an absolute term but is a relative one; it is rather a comparative term. It is difficult to state with precision any mathematically exact formula by which negligence or lack of it can be infallibly measured in a given case. Whether there exists negligence per se or the course of conduct amounts to negligence will normally depend upon the attending and surrounding facts and circumstances which have to be taken into consideration by the Court. In a given case, even not doing what one was ought to do can constitute negligence.
10. The Court has to adopt another parameter, i.e., ‘reasonable care’ in determining the question of negligence or contributory negligence. The doctrine of reasonable care imposes an obligation or a duty upon a person (for example a driver) to care for the pedestrian on the road and this duty attains a higher degree when the pedestrian happen to be children of tender years. It is axiomatic to say that while driving a vehicle on a public way, there is an implicit duty cast on the drivers to see that their driving does not endanger the life of the right users of the road, may be either vehicular users or pedestrians. They are expected to take sufficient care to avoid danger to others.