Fatal road accidents: Alarmed SC wants change in laws

There is a nonchalant attitude among the drivers, says court on rash and negligent driving

GN Bureau | March 31, 2015


#Supreme Court   #road accidents   #deaths   #punishment   #motor vehicles  

One person dies every 4 minutes due to road accident in India and this is a good enough reason to change laws. And the Supreme Court has urged lawmakers to have a more stringent punishment in terms of rash and negligent driving causing death.

Terming light sentences being awarded in road accident cases as "mockery of justice", Supreme Court has asked lawmakers to "scrutinise, re-look and re-visit" the penal laws saying the poor's life was as worth living as that of the rich.

The SC was anguished over the growing cases of reckless and drunken driving.

"We are compelled to observe that India has a disreputable record of road accidents. There is a nonchalant attitude among the drivers. They feel that they are the 'Emperors' of all they survey. Drunkenness contributes to careless driving where other people become their prey.

Justices Dipak Misra and Prafulla Pant, in a judgment delivered on Monday, said that a maximum punishment of two years in jail with fine under Section 304 A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) may not serve the purpose of a law being deterrent. Section 304A of the IPC deals with the offence of causing death by rash and negligent act and provides for imprisonment for maximum of two years or fine or both.

The observations came in a verdict on an appeal filed by the state government against the order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in a road accident case in which two persons were killed on June 14, 2007.

The High Court had partly allowed the plea of convict Saurabh Bakshi and reduced his jail term from one year to 24 days, already undergone during the trial. "In our opinion, it is a fit case where we are constrained to say that the High Court has been swayed away by the passion of mercy in applying the principle that payment of compensation is a factor for reduction of sentence to 24 days.

"It is absolutely in the realm of misplaced sympathy," it said. The apex court awarded six months jail term to the convict and asked him to surrender "forthwith".

The court said such a sentencing pattern is "mockery of justice" and observed "such a crime blights not only the lives of the victims but of many others around them. It ultimately shatters the faith of the public in judicial system."

Comments

 

Other News

All you wanted to know about Mumbai’s coastal road

Mumbai is building a coastal road to cut through traffic snarls and make life easier for commuters. The ambitious project, part of the city’s Development Plan (DP) 2035, is the second major initiative after the Bandra-Worli sea link, and should become a reality in 2023. Here are the key facts

Delhi elections: accounting for intangibles away from banal nationalism and hyper nationalism

The party that came into existence on the intangible timeworn issue of corruption, transparency and increasing public investment through public savings is going on winning elections in Delhi with huge margins, consistently rowing the boat between doldrums and high tides. Somewhere between the doldr

How Divyang-friendly and inclusive is Mumbai? Experts discuss

Mumbai, the second largest city in the country, is not very inclusive when it comes to the easy access to the disabled, but it is learning and is in the process of making the life of Divyangs easier. Also, it aims to rehabilitate all slums in five years. Stakeholders came together to discuss

AAP to contest all Maharashtra local elections

Bolstered by Tuesday’s stupendous victory once again in Delhi assembly elections, the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has decided to contest all local elections in Maharashtra. “Aam Aadmi Party Maharashtra has decided to fight all forthcoming local elections including M

Trump’s visit may spur two-way trade, defence ties further

Preparation is in full swing for US president Donald Trump’s India visit on February 24-25. This will be his maiden India visit as president. As per the ministry of external affairs press release: “During the visit, President Trump and the First Lady [Melania Trump] will attend official engagem



Archives

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter