NEW DELHI: A person who drives a vehicle must know that he should drive it carefully lest anybody loses his life or limb due to his fault, a Delhi court has said while sending a man to jail for driving in a drunken state.
The court's observation came while awarding seven-day jail term to a truck driver for driving under the influence of alcohol in 2011.
"In my view convict does not deserve too much leniency. The reason is that a person who drives a vehicle must know that he should drive it carefully lest anybody may suffer his life or limb due to his fault.
"The driver of offending vehicle must know that he has a responsibility to drive the vehicle with due care and caution for every second he is on the road," Metropolitan Magistrate Ashok Kumar said.
The court also observed that the purpose of sentencing after conviction is a balancing act.
"On one hand, punishment should be sufficient to deter the accused not to repeat the offence in future and become a good member in society. On the other hand, it shouldn't be too harsh which results in he becoming a hardcore criminal," it said.
The court, however, acquitted him of the offences of rash and negligent driving and causing death of a person under the IPC after witnesses of the alleged accident turned hostile.
The court, while sentencing the convict, also cited a Supreme Court observation that "the habit of driving vehicle in an intoxicated state is increasingly and acquiring a dangerous trend which in turn is increasing the frequency of accidents, resulting in valuable loss of life, limb and health,".
According to the prosecution, on December 22, 2011 at Barapullah elevated road, truck driver Abdul Rehman Khan, a UP native, was found driving under the influence of liquor and he allegedly hit an auto rickshaw and a motorcycle leading to the death of a person.
Khan was arrested and charge sheeted for the offences under sections 279 (rash driving), 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life and safety) and 304A (causing death by negligence) of the IPC and for drunken driving under section 185 of the Motor Vehicle Act.
During the trial, Khan had pleaded guilty to the offence under MV Act but denied the charges under IPC.
He had sought leniency from the court on the ground that he has a wife and child to take care of and was not a previous offender.