New Delhi: Rash and negligent drivers should
be awarded deterrent punishment as any leniency shown to them
could escalate the number of road accidents in the city, the
Delhi High Court has ruled.
"One of the most effective ways of keeping such drivers
under mental vigil is to maintain a deterrent element in the
"Any latitude shown to them in that sphere would tempt
them to make driving frivolous and a frolic, thus endangering
the life of public at large, which cannot be allowed," Justice
M L Mehta said on Monday.
The high court made the observations while upholding a
year-long jail term awarded to bus driver Dharmender for
mowing down a cyclist in November 1998 at Raja Garden chowk in
"When automobiles have become death traps, any leniency
shown to drivers who are found guilty of rash driving would be
at the risk of further escalation of road accidents," the
bench said, dismissing the driver`s plea for his release on
Directing the errant bus driver to surrender, the bench
said, "An innocent person has lost his life without any fault
on his part. The petitioner (Dharmender) was a driver of a
commercial vehicle and was required to be extra cautious while
driving on the road."
Dharmender was sentenced to one year rigorous
imprisonment by the trial court on April 2, 2005 for causing
death due to rash and negligent driving.
The conductor of the bus had said in his testimony that
Dharmender had been driving at a very fast speed in a rash and
negligent manner and had jumped a red light before hitting the