Law of Torts

Res ipsa loquitur

Res ipsa loquitur is a rule of evidence which in reality belongs to the law of torts. Inference as to negligence may be drawn from proved circumstances by applying the rule if the cause of the accident is unknown and no reasonable explanation as to the cause is coming forth from the defendant.

In criminal proceedings, the burden of proving negligence as an essential ingredient of the offence lies on the prosecution. Such ingredient cannot be said to have been proved or made out by resorting to the said rule (See Syad Akbar Vs. State of Karnataka, . Incidentally, it may be noted that in Krishnan and another Vs. State of Kerala, the Court has observed that there may be a case where the proved facts would themselves speak of sharing of common intention and while making such observation one of the learned judges constituting the Bench has in his concurring opinion merely stated ‘res ipsa loquitur’. Nowhere it has been stated that the rule has applicability in a criminal case and an inference as to an essential ingredient of an offence can be found proved by resorting to the said rule.

A case u/s 304A IPC cannot be decided solely by applying the rule of res ipsa loquitur.

Categories: Law of Torts

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