‘Sole bread-earner’: Court relief for truck driver who killed 1 by accident
“No doubt, the accused has committed a very wrong act which resulted in death.
NEW DELHI: A court here has modified the sentence of two-year imprisonment awarded to a truck driver for causing death in a 2010 accident to one year, saying courts should not always choose the maximum punishment for a crime. The sessions court said the magisterial court had awarded a harsh sentence to the driver.
Additional Sessions Judge Rakesh Kumar Singh was hearing an appeal filed by Shankar Lal against the judgement of a magisterial court in November 2018 which had sentenced him to rigorous imprisonment of two years for the offence under IPC section 304 A (causing death by negligence).
“Considering the fact that the accused is a poor person and is the sole bread-earner for his family, the punishment for IPC section 304 A is reduced to one-year rigorous imprisonment,” the judge said in a recent order.
“No doubt, the accused has committed a very wrong act which resulted in death. However, providing a maximum punishment will definitely be against the discretionary mechanism envisaged by the parliament and if a punishment has been provided which can go up to 2 years, the court should not always choose the maximum of two years punishment,” the judge added.
ASJ Singh upheld the finding of the magisterial court that Lal was driving his truck in a rash and negligent manner, which resulted in the death of one person and grievous injuries to another, and that the offences were clearly established.
The judge, however, rejected Lal’s plea for release on probation. “In the present case, I am unable to find any justification for a grant of probation when the accused was hiding behind a concocted story planted through a completely unreliable witness and his act of rash driving has resulted not only in grievous hurt to the complainant but also death of a human being,” he said.
According to the prosecution, Lal hit a motorcycle on AIIMS flyover causing the death of a man named Upender and grievous injuries to his friend on March 29, 2010. The Hauz Khas police station had registered an FIR against the accused under IPC sections 279 (Rash driving or riding on a public way) 338 (Causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 304 A.