CHANDIGARH: People should fear the law whether they “like it or not”, the Supreme Court on Tuesday said while favouring harsher punishment for rash and negligent driving.
The apex court also said the present two-year imprisonment for the offence is inadequate.
As per 2015 data of Ministry of Road Transport, 1.5 lakh people are killed in 5 lakh road accidents reported every year.
A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy said that the provisions under the Motor Vehicles Act and section 304A (causing death by rash and negligent act) of IPC, which provides for a maximum two years jail term, seems to be inadequate to deter errant drivers.
Cabinet has already approved the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016 with an aim to bring down number of road accidents but it is yet to be introduced in Parliament.
Expressing concern over the people who lost their near and dear ones due to drunken and reckless driving the bench said, “Whether people like it or not, there should be fear of law among them. In such circumstances, the driver not only becomes a threat to himself but also to others and no amount of compensation can be a substitute for life loss.”
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the bench that the competent authorities are already on the work on the issue of stricter punishment for such kind of driving and sought eight weeks time.
The court posted the matter for further hearing on March 8.
The court had in its earlier judgments had asked the Centre to re-visit the law dealing with mishaps causing death and injury to innocents on roads due to rash and negligent driving.