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

Reform first, privatise later: Bibek Debroy to railways

Before privatisation and corporatisation, the Indian Railways need to undertake major reforms including commercial accounting, decentralisation and human resource among others, said Bibek Debroy, economist and member, NITI Aayog at Railways Reforms and Governance Conclave organised by Governance Now on Fri

NTPC plans for 32 GW installed capacity via renewable sources

NTPC Ltd has raised Rs 2,000 crore through green masala bonds in overseas market under its $4 billion medium term note programme, union minister Piyush Goyal informed the Lok Sabha. The proceeds of these bonds will be used for financing renewable energy projects in accordance with applicable

Big test for Palanisami

It’s been over a month since the power centre in Tamil Nadu shifted from Poes Garden to Greenways Road in Chennai. The thirteenth chief minister of the state, Edappadi K Palanisami, is taking baby steps to bring about a change in the state which has been battling political uncertainty for the past fe

A trowelful of empowerment

When her husband died last year, 60-year-old Chakkamma was not sure whether she would be able to have some money of her own: she has a son who looks after her, but she wanted to maintain a degree of independence. Opportunity came knocking when the Tamil Nadu government, as part of its Pudhu Vaazhvu (or new

Should Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad be arrested for assaulting an Air India employee?

Should Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad be arrested for assaulting an Air India employee?

Railways suffered over Rs 33,000 crore loss on passenger service: CAG

  The Railways was unable to meet its operational cost of passenger and other coaching services. During 2014-15, there was a loss of Rs 33,821.70 crore on passenger and other coaching services. The freight services earned a profit of Rs 38,312.59 crore which indicated that 88.28 percent

Video

जानिए क्यों ये किसान अर्धनग्न अवस्था में बैठे हैं जंतर मंतर पर

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter