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PUNJAB & HARYANA HIGH COURT REDUCES SENTENCE OF FIRST TIME OFFENDER WHO CAUSED DEATH BY RASH & NEGLIGENT DRIVING

This particular decision is upheld by the High Court of Punjab and Haryana through the division bench of Justice Jasjit Singh Bedi in the case of Yusuf v State of Haryana (CRR-375-2016 )

FACTS

the complainant is a barber. On 28.03.2011 at around 5.15 pm, the complainant along with his wife on his motorcycle bearing no. HR30E-1810 Make Hero Honda CD Dawn was going to the village Hasanpur. The complainant was also accompanied by his brother -in-law Narender Kumar who was on another motorcycle bearing no. UP13-1533 marka Hero Honda CD Deluxe. The brother-in-law of the complainant was riding in front of them and when they reached Chandhut Police Station near Yamuna Bridge, a truck bearing no. RJ-02GA-2099, whose driver was driving in a rash and negligent manner, collided with the motorcycle of Narender Kumar due to which he fell on the road and received injuries. The complainant drove his motorcycle off the road in order to save himself but the unknown driver drove his truck in a rash and negligent manner and struck Narender Kumar from behind and he succumbed to his injuries and died on the spot. The driver ran away from the spot leaving his truck there and at that time the complainant saw the driver. He prayed for action against the accused. On the same day i.e. 28.03.2011 after getting the intimation that an accident had occurred near the police station between a motorcycle and a truck, ASI Virender Singh along with HC Devender Kumar and Ct. Maan Singh reached the spot and met the complainant namely Kunwar Pal who got his statement recorded upon which formal FIR no. 57 was registered against the accused. Site plan Ex. PW7/D was prepared. The truck bearing no. RJ02
GA-2099 was taken into police possession vide recovery memo Ex. PW6/A. The report of the mechanical examination of the offending vehicle Ex. PW8/A was obtained. The driving license of the accused and RC of the
offending vehicle were taken into police possession vide recovery memo Ex. PW6/B. The accused was arrested and on completion of investigation,
challan against the accused was presented before the Court.

JUDGEMENT

The Court observed that Petitioner’s argument that the eye-witnesses could not be believed as they were close relatives of the deceased does not carry much weight. It further found no reason in the argument that the said eye witnesses would implicate the petitioner and exonerate the actual accused.

Thus, the offence having been clearly established from the version of the eye-witnesses and the material on record, the court found no reason to interfere with the well-reasoned judgments of the Trial court and learned Lower Appellate Court thereby dismissing the instant revision petition. With regard to the imposition of sentence, the court placed reliance on the Supreme Court’s judgement in State of Punjab Versus Saurabh Bakshi, 2015(2) RCR (Criminal) 495, and this High Court’s decision in Jaswant Singh Versus State of Punjab 2020(1) RCR (Criminal) 163 thereby coming to the conclusion that the petitioner being a first-time offender in the occurrence that took place almost 11 years ago deserves modification of his sentence to an extent of 1 ½ years. Accordingly, the court dismissed the instant revision petition with modification in sentence but keeping the quantum of fine and sentence in default intact.

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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY NAISARGIKA MISHRA

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