`Rash driving: Punishment essential for deterrent`

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.

PTI



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

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