Sessions Court, Dwarka: Additional Sessions Judge Sonu Agnihotri allowed an appeal filed by a person convicted for the offence of drunk driving and modified the order sentencing him to simple imprisonment, for the said offence.

Appellant, herein, was found under the influence of liquor when his vehicle was stopped. The quantity of liquor consumed by him was found to be 550mg/100ml, which was much higher than the permissible limit of 30mg/100ml. Learned Metropolitan Magistrate, Dwarka Court sentenced him to simple imprisonment for two days and imposed a fine of Rs 2000 for the said offence punishable under Sections 138, 177 and 185 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. Aggrieved by the said order, the present appeal was filed under Section 375 (b) of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

The appellant stated that he was challaned while he was returning from his office after attending a party wherein there was a strict rule that one person could take liquor only up to the limit of 60ml. He stated that he had consumed liquor only to the extent of 60 ml, but traffic police officials intentionally challaned him for consuming liquor to the extent of 550ml. He also stated that there might have been some defect in the machine which was used to check his alcohol quantity as on first three to four occasions, the alcoholic meter showed the quantity of 0ml, but suddenly on the fifth occasion, meter showed quantity of 550ml. As it was his first offence and he was the sole bread earner of his family, he prayed to set aside the order of simple imprisonment.

The Court, at the outset, noted that that appellant-convict had voluntarily pleaded guilty for offences under Sections 138, 177 and 185 of MV Act, and under Section 375(b) CrPC, an appeal does not lie when accused has pleaded guilty and been convicted on such plea; except to the extent or legality of the sentence. Thus, appellant could only challenge the extent or legality of his sentence in terms of section 375(b) CrPC.

It was noted that the appellant was not a previous convict and was doing a private job in a Multinational Company. He was the sole bread earner of his family, and in case he was sent to jail, he might lose his job. It was opined that being a first time offender, he deserved to be dealt with leniently but at the same time balance had to be maintained keeping in view right of others to have safe passage on the road

Thus, the appeal filed by the appellant was allowed and the impugned order was modified to the extent that appellant instead of being sent to simple imprisonment for two days was asked to serve in an old age home for two weeks from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Also, his driving licence was suspended for a period of six months.

The appeal filed by the appellant was disposed of in the above terms.[Manish Kumar v. State (NCT of Delhi), Criminal Appeal No. 20 of 2019, decided on 31-05-2019]

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