Reported By: Amruta Pawar
The Supreme Court in the matter of the State Punjab v/s Dil Bahadur reversed the decision of the P & H high court which had reduced the sentence of the accused in the rash motor driving accident case while upholding the conviction.
The bench of Justice M R Shah & C T Ravikumar observed that the undue sympathy shown by the high court is unsustainable under IPC as the aim of the same is to give punitive & deterrent punishment to offenders for committing crimes.
The appellant had challenged the decision of the high court which lowered the sentence of the accused from 2 years of rigorous imprisonment to 8 months owing to the fact that he is poor and his profession of driving a car is his way to make a living. However, the accused was obligated to pay the compensation.
The bench observed that the accused was driving a car in a negligent & reckless manner which led to the death of an innocent person and also injuries to two people in the ambulance as a result of its overturning. The bench highlighted that due to the rash driving of the accused, the ambulance turned turtle which only shows the impact on the ambulance and the rash & negligent driving on the part of the accused.
The court relied on the decisions in the state of Madhya Pradesh v/s Surendra Singh wherein it was held that undue sympathy by means of imposing inadequate sentences would do more to the justice system by leading to a lack of confidence in people in the efficacy of the law.
The court, relying on the above and other judgments, observed that rapidly increasing accidents from rash driving resulting in financial, emotional & social trauma to the victim’s family cannot be quantified and thus the high court failed to consider the gravity of the crime committed by the accused.
Thus in light of the above observations, the supreme court allowed the appeal and reversed the judgment of the Punjab & Haryana High Court.