Sending accused to jail 26 years after the incident of rash driving, harsh: Supreme Court

Supreme Court: In a case dating back to the year 1995 where a bus driver had caused an accident, thereby injuring a driver of a car, the 3-judge bench of Ashok Bhushan, Vineet Saran and MR Shah, JJ has upheld the conviction of the bus driver under Sections 279 and 338 of IPC but has held that sending the accused to jail after 26 years would be harsh.

The incident took place on 16.02.1995 i.e. more than 26 years ago and the appellant was throughout on the bail. The Trial Court recorded the conviction under Section 279, 338 and awarded sentence of imprisonment of six months and further sentenced to pay a fine of Rs.500/- under Section 337.

However, the Supreme Court substituted the sentence by fine of Rs. 1000/- each.

“The conviction of appellant is affirmed, however, looking to the facts and circumstances of the present case specially the fact that 26 years have elapsed from the incident, we are inclined to substitute the sentence of six months imprisonment under Section 279 and 338 into fine. Six months sentence under Section 279 and 338 IPC are substituted by fine of Rs.1000/- each whereas sentence of fine under Section 337 IPC is maintained.”

[Surendran v. Sub-Inspector of Police, 2021 SCC OnLine SC 445, decided on 30.06.2021]

*Judgment by: Justice Ashok Bhushan 

Messiah of the sufferers: Bidding adieu to Justice Ashok Bhushan

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