`Rash driving: Punishment essential for deterrent`
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Last Updated: Friday, March 16, 2012, 18:02
Madurai: Observing that punishment for rash and negligent driving was essential as a deterrent, Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has confirmed the conviction on the driver of a tractor which ran over a four-year-old girl near here four years ago.

Justice PR Sivakumar, however, took into consideration the family of the driver, comprising wife and two children aged seven and four, and commuted the sentence from six months to three months of simple imprisonment.

Observing in cases like these the punishment should not be negligible or nominal, the judge said, "The court deems it appropriate to reduce the sentence of imprisonment to three months from six months".

The judge also imposed a fine of Rs 5000 on P Muniaswamy and in default undergo three more months of imprisonment.

Police had registered a case under IPC 304(a) (causing death by negligence) after the girl was run over when she was walking along the road at RS Mangalam on April 29, 2008.

The Chief Judicial Magistrate had found him guilty and sentenced him to six months imprisonment without mentioning whether it was simple or rigorous imprisonment.

On appeal the Principal District Sessions judge inadvertently mentioned that the convict had been ordered to undergo rigorous imprisonment. Hence the appellant had to undergo such a sentence.

Normally if no mention was made about the mode of punishment, it should be taken as simple imprisonment, the judge said.

Filing the present revision plea, Muniaswamy had initially challenged his conviction as well as sentence. But when the judge refused to interfere with the lower court judgement, he prayed to show mercy and reduce the sentence.


First Published: Friday, March 16, 2012, 18:02

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