Recently, the Allahabad High Court has upheld a conviction for rash and negligent driving by a “Jugar” Vehicle.
In the instant case, the revisionist filed the revision against the order passed by the Additional Sessions Judge Agra wherein the Court partly allowed a criminal appeal acquitting the revisionists of charges u/s 337 of IPC while upholding conviction for offences u/s 279 and 304A IPC.
As per the prosecution, the revisionist was driving an unauthorised and illegal contraption of a powered vehicle called jugar when the informant, his deceased son and other people boarded the vehicle.
Due to rash and negligent driving of the revisionist, the vehicle overturned, and the informant’s son sustained grievous injuries due to which he passed away.
The informant filed an FIR, and the Magistrate Court after examining all the witnesses, and material on record convicted the revisionist for offences punishable under Sections 279, 337 and 304A IPC. Aggrieved by the order, the revisionist filed an appeal before the Sessions Judge which was partly allowed and Sessions Judge acquitted the revisionist of charges u/s 337 IPC, but upheld the conviction for offences u/s 279 and 304A IPC.
The revisionist challenged the order passed by the Magistrate and Sessions Court in the Allahabad High Court.
Contentions Before the High Court
Counsel for the revisionist argued that his client could not be held responsible because he was not plying the vehicle for any commercial gains. He had just offered a lift to the deceased and others on humanitarian grounds. Therefore even if an accident occurred, no liability under Section 304A or 279 IPC could be fastened. It was further argued that there is no evidence to corroborate the prosecution’s version of evidence.
On the other hand, government counsel argued that the subordinate courts’ findings were based on a just, plausible and logical inference, from the evidence available on record and the High Court cannot interfere with the findings of facts of subordinate Courts while exercising their revisional jurisdiction.
Observations and Decision of the Court
Hon’ble Allahabad High Court opined that there was no reason to discard the two subordinate courts’ findings on the fact in issue and the relevant facts attending it. The Court also refused to accept the revisionist argument that he was not plying the vehicle for commercial gains so he cannot be held liable.
While referring to the vehicle (jugar) in question, the Court remarked that such vehicles were inherently unsafe and dangerous, so they are illegal. The revisionist driving the vehicle on the road was dangerous enough and illegal, but he went ahead and offered rides to other people which was also very careless.
The Court went ahead and dismissed the revision petition and directed the revisionists to surrender before the Trial Court within one week.
Title: Munshi Singh vs the State of UP
Case No: CRIMINAL REVISION No. – 1961 of 2016
Date of Order:22.01.2021
Coram: Hon’ble Justice JJ Munir