Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madhya Pradesh High Court: Virender Singh, J. allowed the petition for reduction of the sentence on the ground that petitioner was the only bread winner of his family and had been diligently attended and cooperated in the trial.

A petition was made against the confirmation of the conviction and sentence under Sections 337 and 338 of the Penal Code, 1860.

The facts of the case were petitioner was driving the bus negligently and rashly due to which the bus turned turtle and the passengers were injured thereto. The charge sheet was filed against the petitioner and thereon he was charged, tried, convicted and sentenced and was directed to pay the compensation to the injured persons.

Nilesh Manore, learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that he was aggrieved by the term of the imprisonment and thus prayed to reduce the period of imprisonment as he had already served more than one-month imprisonment and the that he was facing the trial since 2008. It was further submitted that trial Court and the appellate Court itself has observed that he diligently attended and cooperated in the trial. It was further submitted that in lieu thereof, some fine may be imposed. It was further submitted that the petitioner was a driver, belongs to a poor family and was the only bread winner of his family and there was no criminal case prior to or after the incident been registered against him.

Sandeep Mehta, Public Prosecutor vehemently opposed the petition as the offence was against the public at large.

The Court opined that as the petitioner was only the bread winner of his family and there was no criminal record attributed to him. It was also opined that the incident took place all of a sudden. Thus, on the ground that the justice will be subserved if the petition was not allowed, the prayer of the petitioner was granted. [Kailash v. State of M.P, 2019 SCC OnLine MP 931, decided on 30-05-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madhya Pradesh High Court: This appeal was filed before a Single Judge Bench of Rohit Arya, J., under Section 173 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 against the impugned order passed by Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal (Shajapur).

Facts of the case were that deceased met with an accident caused by the rash and negligent driving of respondent thereby causing their death. The respondent’s vehicle was insured with Insurance Company (Respondent 3). The claimant brought before Court the salary earned by deceased at the time of his death i.e. Rs 3,500. The claimant suffered not only the loss of love and affection of their family member but also financial constraints. The claimants were aggrieved by the meager compensation awarded by the Tribunal and prayed for its enhancement. The issue before the court was whether the compensation awarded by Tribunal of Rs 2,41,000 was justified.

Insurance company supported the award of compensation passed by Tribunal to be just, appropriate and proper with no requirement of enhancement. The High Court was of the view that impugned award was not assessed properly, being on the lower side it needed to be enhanced taking into consideration the age, dependency of the deceased and his future prospects. Court found it appropriate to deduct 1/3 instead of 1/2 towards personal expenses of the deceased. On viewing that Tribunal did not award compensation under the head ‘future prospects’, compensation was granted under the above head. Therefore, the appeal was allowed and award of compensation was enhanced to Rs 2,44,000. [Samrat v. Manish,2018 SCC OnLine MP 833, order dated 16-11-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Karnataka High Court: The Dharwad Bench of Karnataka High Court recently held that over speeding is not necessary to constitute rash driving. In this case, the accused was driving in a rash and negligent manner so as to endanger human life or likely to cause hurt or injury to others and as a result he hit a cyclist who succumbed to the injuries received as a result of the accident. The accused has appealed, inter alia, on the ground that the courts below ignored the fact that near the place where the alleged accident took place there were speed breakers and traffic signals, and as such, it was impossible for the alleged offending vehicle to go in a high speed.

The Court observed that by the word ‘rash driving’ it cannot be automatically imagined that the vehicle alleged to be rash in its driving should also necessarily be coupled with high speed. Court referred the Supreme Court’s judgment in Ravi Kapur v. State of Rajasthan, (2012) 9 SCC 284. In that judgment the Hon’ble Apex Court relied upon its previous judgment of Mohd. Aynuddin v. State of A.P., (2000) 7 SCC 72, wherein it was observed that a rash act is primarily an overhasty act. From the observation made by the Hon’ble Apex Court, the High Court concluded that to constitute a rash and negligent driving it is not necessary that the offending vehicle must have always exceeded its speed limit or over speeded. Failure to exercise the required care and caution expected to be taken by a driver in a circumstance, in which he was driving would constitute a negligent driving. [Moulasab v. State of Karnataka, 2018 SCC OnLine Kar 640, dated 11-06-2018]