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The Sentence Can Be Reduced Based On The Accused’s Trial: In Gauhati High Court

 In most cases, a court retains the ability to overturn an improper sentence. This implies that if a clerical error resulted in the sentence, the Court could update the abstract of judgment to reflect the proper verdict. The High Court Of Gauhati upheld this through a single Learned Bench of  MRS. JUSTICE RUMI KUMARI PHUKAN in PRADIP BASUMATARY V. THE STATE OF ASSAM and ANR (Crl. Rev.P./32/2015).

Facts of the case – The prosecution case is that on 02.07.2000 at around 11:00 a.m., the accused Pradip Basumatary was driving Tata Sumo bearing Regn. No. AS-01/H-8743, from Krishnai to Dudhnoi, collided head-on with the Maruti Van bearing Regn. No. AS18/3467 was driving in the opposite direction, causing grievous injury to Maruti Van’s driver, Sri Amulya Rava. The other two passengers, Smt Prabhati Boro and Smt Arpana Khaklary were just injured, resulting in substantial damage to both automobiles. ASI Abdus Swaheed has filed an FIR under IPC Sections 279/337/338/427. The witnesses’ statements were recorded during the investigation, the accused was detained, and he was released on bail. The I.O. also seized the vehicles involved in the accident, prepared a seizure list for them, and made the necessary arrangements for the vehicle’s mechanical examination. After the investigation was completed, the police filed a charge sheet against the current accused/petitioners under Sections 279/337/338/427 of the IPC. The prosecution called eight witnesses throughout the trial, while the defense called none. The accused was found guilty and convicted after the trial.

Mr. H. Das, learned counsel for the Petitioner, puts forth that the Accused Petitioner comes before this Court with the present revision petition. It challenges the aforementioned concurrent findings, claiming, among other things, that the learned appellate Court erred in law in sustaining the learned trial Court’s verdict and order of conviction.

Although the PW.1, PW.2, and PW.3 did not see the specific event, they came to the scene shortly after the incident and discovered the PW.5 injured. With their help and support, the wounded was sent to the hospital for medical care. These three witnesses had firmly claimed that the front sides of both automobiles had been damaged due to the incident. On the other hand, these witnesses were unable to say with certainty who was to blame for the disaster.

Except for the wounded, there was no other eye witness to the collision in this case. Still, the evidence of the two injured, PW.4 and PW.5, indicated that the accident occurred due to Tata Sumo’s hurry and careless driving. Although no other eye witness to the incident exists, the effect of the damage to both cars, where the petitioners is a big vehicle, has caused considerable damage to both cars, and such reckless driving falls under the ambit of Section 279 of the IPC.

After examining the facts and shreds of evidence, The Learned Judge Based on the evidence presented, the trial court’s judgment concerning the accused’s guilt under Sections 279/337/338/427 of the IPC appears to be proper, and the learned appellate Court has correctly maintained it. However, in light of the Petitioner’s experienced counsel’s position, this Court also recognized that the current Petitioner, as a private car driver, has suffered dramatically due to the protracted lawsuit, which has lasted around 21 years and thus deserves some indulgence.

Click here to view the Judgement

Reviewed by Rangasree.

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