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Refusing to grant relief to a man guilty of driving in an inebriated state, a Delhi court has upheld his conviction and sentence saying “roads of Delhi are one of the most dangerous stretches” and instances of drunken driving causing fatal accidents are on the rise.

Dismissing the appeal filed by Uttar Pradesh resident Birjesh Kumar against the August 2014 order of a trial court, Additional Sessions Judge Hemani Malhotra said he was found driving his vehicle in a heavily-drunken state endangering the lives of other people on the road.

“It goes without saying that roads of Delhi are one of the most dangerous stretches ever known and owing to increasing instances of drunken driving and fatal accidents even Supreme Court has ruled that a fatal accident by a drunken driver invokes offence punishable with up to 10 years rigorous imprisonment,” the judge said.

The court said, “The convict was found driving his vehicle in a heavily-drunken state. On being checked with the breath analyser, he was found to have a large quantity of alcohol in his blood, much beyond the permissible limit.”

While rejecting Kumar’s contention that the order on sentence was very harsh while the offence was minor in nature, the court said, “The convict by his act has not only put his life in danger but also the life of other road users.”

The court said that under section 185 (drunken driving) of Motor Vehicle Act for the first-time offender the sentence imposable is up to six months jail but he has been awarded sentence of just seven days simple imprisonment which “appears to be on the extremely lower side”.

“I am of the considered opinion that convict does not deserve any leniency for his conduct under section 185 MV Act. Accordingly, appeal stands dismissed and he be taken into custody as per the order of trial court,” the judge said.

According to prosecution, Kumar was found driving a commercial light goods vehicle in a drunken state at about 3.05 pm in central Delhi.

When the matter was taken before the trial court on August 23, 2014, Kumar was convicted after he pleaded guilty and was sentenced for maximum sentence of seven days and Rs 4,700 fine.


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