Court quashes jail term, says magistrate didn’t apply mind

Court quashes jail term, says magistrate didn’t apply mind

New Delhi, Jan 30 A sessions court here has taken strong objection to a magisterial court’s verdict sentencing a man to six months imprisonment in a rash driving case, saying the judgement was passed “in a very casual manner without applying judicial mind.”

Special Judge Virender Bhat quashed the orders convicting and sentencing the man for causing the death of a person by negligence, noting that the metropolitan magistrate had also wrongly recorded the date of the alleged incident.

It noted that while the FIR mentions the date of accident as December 3, 2008, the magistrate referred to the month of incident as November in one order and August in another.

“I feel constrained to note that the impugned judgment has been passed by the Magistrate in a very casual manner without applying his judicial mind to the material on record.

This case affords a classic illustration where judgment, ex- facie, appears not to be based upon the evidence on record.

“There are material discrepancies with regard to the date of incident which have not been discussed at all in the impugned judgment and the judgment itself adds more confusion on this aspect,” the judge said.

The court noted that the FIR mentioned the date of incident as December 3, 2008 whereas the date in the order on framing of charge against the accused was noted as November 3, 2008.

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“I do not find any discussion in this regard in the entire judgment. It is, therefore, difficult to discern as to whether the actual date of incident is November 3 or December 3. Moreover, to make the matters worse, the Magistrate mentions in the judgment that the incident had taken place in the month of August.”

The magisterial court had in its August 11, 2017 verdict convicted Ramesh Kumar under section 304A (causing death by negligence) of the IPC and rejected his contention that there were no independent witnesses to prove the case.

It had said, “The incident took place during afternoon hours in the month of August when the people do not come out due to scorching sun and humid weather and that public people generally avoid participating in the investigation…”

Irked by this observation of the magistrate, the sessions judge said, “the mention of the month of August in the above referred portion of the judgment does not appear to be a slip of tongue or typographical mistake as the Magistrate mentions that people do not come out due to scorching sun and humid weather which is generally experienced in the month of August.

Such kind of weather does not prevail in the month of November or December.”

While setting aside the judgement, the sessions judge also observed, “I am unable to discern from the entire judgment or entire Trial Court record as to how the Magistrate declared that the incident had taken place in the month of August. In view of the aforementioned infirmity, discrepancies and lacunae in the impugned judgment, it is found in the interest of justice, to remand the case back to the Trial Court for a fresh decision.”

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The convict had moved the sessions court against the magisterial court order awarding him six-month imprisonment and imposing a fine of Rs 50,000 for causing death of a person through his negligent driving.

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