A Delhi court has refused to set aside a year’s jail term to a bus driver convicted of killing a 50-year-old woman by negligent driving, while modifying his sentence from simple to rigorous imprisonment saying the trial court had already taken a lenient view towards him.
“As far as sentence is concerned, already the magisterial court has taken a lenient view. The sentence order is upheld but subject to modification that instead of simple jail term, appellant is sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for a period of one year for offence punishable under section 304-A (causing death by negligence) of IPC,” Additional Sessions Judge Sanjay Bansal said.
The court also upheld the fine of Rs one lakh imposed on him, of which 90 per cent of the amount would be given to the victim’s family as compensation and his disqualification from holding commercial driving license for one year.
It observed that driving at high speed in a crowded area was an act which “has potential to cause serious injuries as well as death of other road users. Any person who drives at high speed in a crowded area must be presumed to have the knowledge of its consequences.”
The court, while relying on the testimony of a constable who was an eye-witness as he was on duty when the accident occured, noted that he had signalled the driver to stop the bus but he did not listen to him.
“This also shows that appellant was rash and negligent,” it said,adding the testimony of the constable was trustworthy.
“I do not find any discrepancy in evidence of PW-1 (the constable). He was a natural witness being on duty. His evidence inspires confidence. His evidence is entitled to same weight and consideration as is given to any other truthful witness,” the judge said.
The court rejected the convict’s contention that there was no independent witness to support the prosecution case, saying “it is not number of witnesses which is important rather what it important is the quality of the evidence. PW-1 is a reliable witness and there was no need for prosecution to examine other police officials who were on duty.”
According to prosecution, on January 5, 2007, at a red light near Madhuban Chowk in West Delhi, the driver, who was driving a Blueline bus crushed Jeet Kaur, a pedestrian, and killed her on the spot.
The FIR was registered on the statement of constable Omvir who was on duty at the spot and who claimed to have seen the accident.
The driver had denied the allegations and claimed he was falsely implicated.
( Source – PTI )