Section 285 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 – Explained!
The section requires some rash or negligent act on the part of the accused to be done. The act must endanger human life, or must be likely to cause hurt or injury to another person. If such is not the case then there must be an omission, knowingly or negligently, to take such order with any fire or any combustible matter in his possession as is sufficient to guard against any probable danger to human life from such fire or combustible matter.
In Kurban Hussain Mohammadalli Rangwala v. State, several workers suffered burn injuries and seven of them died when the paint and varnish factory of the accused caught fire. The dead had been working in a loft where manufactured paint was stored.
The Supreme Court held that the accused had committed breach of special condition of licence when he allowed lighting of four burners in that room without taking any precautions to prevent fire which would be dangerous to human life. Since it was a negligent omission to take such order with fire or combustible matter in his possession as would be sufficient to guard against any probable danger to human life, he was guilty under this section.
The offence under this section is cognizable, bailable and non-compoundable, and is triable by any magistrate.