SC requested enhancement of punishment for causing death by rash and negligent driving to Law makers

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New Delhi:  The Apex Judicial Authority hon’ble Supreme Court has requested for enhancing the term of punishment in cases of death by rash and negligent driving. The Apex Court has requested to the Legislative Authority to enhance the term of punishment by amending relevant provisions in the concerned legislation.

The view was taken by the SC on this Monday, for putting fear of law in the drivers who drive their vehicles as ‘emperors of the Road’ and cause death of innocents.

The cases of accident or road mishaps are covered under section 304A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) and also there is a beneficial statute in this respect, for providing compensation to the road accident victims or to their families. However, looking towards the seriousness of matter of increasing road accidents, a strong and effective legal sanction is required.

The Bench comprising of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice P. C. Pand observed that, the provision of section 304A of the IPC is providing non-deterrent punishment and the Courts have also adopted leniency while awarding jail to the culprit and all this has erased deterrence value of the Law and also made the culprits to behave like emperors of the Road.

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The Bench said that, the law makes to scrutinize and re-look and re-visit the sentencing policy in Section 304A of the IPC. The same was said with ‘immense anguish’, as per Justice Misra, who found authoring judgment for the Bench of the hon’ble Apex Court.

The Bench made this observation in the judgment in Saurabh Bakshi’s Case, who was convicted for one year under section 304-A of the IPC, by the Trial Court and confirmed by the Additional Session Judge and the Bench headed by Justice Ritu Bahri of Hon’ble High Court of Punjab and Haryana in the revision confirmed the conviction the sentence was reduced to 24 days in jail, a period the convict had already undergone just because he had compensated the legal heirs of victim concerned.

The provision of section 304A of the IPC provides maximum punishment of two years with fine for the rash and negligent driving resulting in death on road.

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By Faim Khalilkhan Pathan