New Delhi: A Delhi court has commuted the sentence of a truck driver who was originally given a two-year imprisonment term for causing a fatal accident in 2010.
The court reduced the sentence to one year, stating that maximum punishment should not always be imposed for a crime and said that the initial sentence given by the magisterial court was too severe.
Additional Sessions Judge Rakesh Kumar Singh was dealing with Shankar Lal’s appeal against the verdict of a magisterial court in November 2018.
The magisterial court had convicted Lal of causing death by negligence under Section 304 A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and sentenced him to two years of rigorous imprisonment.
The court said that due to Lal’s impoverished status and being the sole provider for his family, the punishment for the offense under Section 304 A would be reduced to one year of rigorous imprisonment.
The judge also emphasised that while Lal’s actions caused a tragic loss of life, always opting for the maximum punishment would go against the discretionary powers granted by the parliament.
ASJ Singh upheld the magisterial court’s finding that Lal was driving recklessly and negligently, leading to the death of one person and causing serious injuries to another. The judge, however, denied Lal’s request for probation.
“In this case, I find no justification for granting probation as the accused was hiding behind a concocted story planted through a completely unreliable witness.
“Furthermore, his reckless driving not only caused severe harm to the complainant but also resulted in the loss of a human life,” the judge stated.
According to the prosecution, Lal collided with a motorcycle on the AIIMS flyover on March 29, 2010, resulting in the death of a man named Upender and causing severe injuries to his friend. The Hauz Khas police station then registered an FIR against Lal under IPC sections 279 (rash driving or riding on a public way), 338 (causing grievous hurt by an act endangering life or personal safety of others), and 304 A.