New Delhi: A bus driver, who was jailed for six months by a magisterial court for rash driving and injuring a person, has been released by a sessions court here which directed a re-trial saying he "has been greatly prejudiced in his defence for want of legal assistance".
Special Judge JPS Malik, allowed the appeal filed by Delhi resident Rajesh against the order of the trial court, which had held him guilty for the offences of rash driving and causing hurt by endangering life, and directed the magistrate to make sure he has a lawyer to defend him.
While releasing Rajesh, who spent six months in jai, the judge remanded the case back to the trial court saying the matter be heard again and he be given the opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses.
"It is clear that appellant/accused has been greatly prejudiced in his defence for want of legal assistance. Impugned judgement and order on sentence, in the circumstances cannot be sustained and same are set aside...
"Trial court is directed to hold re-trial of the case from the stage of prosecution evidence, giving opportunity to the appellant for cross-examination of the witnesses.... Legal Aid Counsel be provided to the appellant in absence of his not engaging a counsel for himself," the special judge said.
The judge was hearing an appeal filed by Rajesh, against the September 19, 2014 order of a magisterial court, in which he claimed that he was poor and was not able to get the legal assistance to defend himself during trial.
He had claimed that he did not get the opportunity to even cross examine the witnesses including the complainant, who had filed the case against him.
The magisterial court had jailed Rajesh for driving a bus in rash and negligent manner on November 13, 2002 near Shastri Nagar here and grievously injuring the complainant, who was travelling by his scooter.
Rajesh had denied the allegations saying the accident took place due to the complainant's negligence.