DEATH BY RASH DRIVING, NEGLIGENCE | Tipper driver gets 5 years in jail

Srinagar, Dec 26: “The dead cannot cry out for justice.

It is the duty of the living to do so for them,” were the words beginning a Ganderbal court’s judgment that Tuesday sentenced a tipper driver to five years imprisonment for rash and negligent driving leading to death of two persons and injuries to one in the central Kashmir district in 2013.

Chief Judicial Ganderbal, Fayaz Ahmad Qureshi, also ordered that the convict Mehraj-ud-din Dar should pay a compensation amount of Rs 10 lakh to the family members of each of the deceased for the loss they suffered due to the sudden death of the young boys.

“The punishment must serve as deterrence in cases of traffic menace where the everyday frequency of such occurrences is alarming. The punishment should not only be deterrent but should also be commensurate to alleviate the pain of victim families,” the court observed in its 60-page judgment.

The court also imposed a fine on him saying, “a punishment without any measure of compensation to the victim families shall be useless”.

“Section 304-A RPC culpable homicide not amounting to murder prescribes minimum punishment of two years in case of death caused due to rash or negligent act where the driver does not have the licence,” the court said. “But considering the gravity of the offence and the conduct of the accused who fled from the spot, how the offence has been committed and the object of deterrence of the sentence, five years simple imprisonment shall be proportionate.”

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Accordingly, the court sentenced him to simple imprisonment of five years for the offence under Section 304-A RPC (Rash or negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide).

The court also sentenced him to one-month simple imprisonment for the offence under Section 279 RPC rash and negligent driving.

“Besides, the accused shall in terms of Section 545 (3) CrPC pay a compensation amount of rupees ten lakh to the family members of each of the deceased to compensate them for the loss they suffered due to the sudden death of the deceased young boys, which shall be set off from the compensation awarded or to be awarded by MACT or other forum,” the court stated.

In case of failure to pay the compensation within two months, the court said, the convict shall undergo a further period of simple imprisonment for six months in default.

Besides, the court ordered that the accused shall pay compensation of Rs 50,000 to the injured within two months in default of which he should undergo further simple imprisonment of 3 months.

Apart from that, the court fined the convict Rs 25,000 for the commission of the offence under Section 427 RPC (mischief causing damage to the amount of Rs 50 or more).

Out of this amount, the court ordered that Rs 20,000 should be paid to the rightful owner of the motorcycle as compensation for the loss of the bike less than any amount awarded under any other law.

“A fine of Rs 5000 is imposed for the commission of offences under Sections 3/181 and 66/192 Motor Vehicle Act failure to pay the same will render the accused liable to undergo 15 days simple imprisonment,” the court said. “The sentence of imprisonment so awarded for the offence under Sections 279, 338, 427, 304-A RPC shall run concurrently.”

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According to the prosecution on December 11, 2013, a tipper (JK16 4098) driven by Mehrajuddin Dar from Ganderbal to Zazna hit a motorcycle on which three persons were riding.

The trio Ishfaq Ahmad, Abid Bashir Wani, and Adil Majeed Shah, all residents of Ganderbal, were injured and taken for medical treatment to SKIMS Soura.

Ishfaq Ahmad died on the same day while Abid Bashir Wani succumbed to wounds on December 19, 2013.

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