After 13-year trial, blueline bus driver let off

New Delhi: A blueline bus driver, sentenced to six months in jail for causing grievous hurt to a woman passenger by his rash driving, has been let off by a Delhi court with a fine on the ground that he faced trial for over 13 years in the accident case.

Additional Sessions Judge Lal Singh modified driver Raghunath's sentence awarded by the magisterial court after he showed repentance for his act and assured the court that he would be a "useful citizen in society" in future.

The judge showed leniency to him as he had four minor children and was the sole earning member of the family.

The driver also prayed that he was facing trial in the case since 1998.

"Accused (Raghunath) is stated to be having four young children and youngest girl is of two years and he is the sole bread earner in his family. Keeping in view this fact also, the accused deserves some leniency. In my view, Raghunath deserves an opportunity to reform himself without going to jail," the judge said.

"So far as the present case is concerned it relates to the year 1998 and the appellant (Raghunath) is facing the trial for such a long period. Otherwise, also the accused who is present in the court reflected repentance and assured to be a useful citizen in the society in future," the judge said.

The court, however, said from the testimonies of the witnesses and case record, it was clear that Raghunath was negligent and the accident was caused due to his rash driving.

"It is amply clear that Raghunath was negligent and he had started the bus without ensuring that all the passengers had alighted from the bus. It was clear that accident was caused due to rash and negligent driving of Raghunath and due to that the victim sustained injuries on her left leg," the court said.