Court sets aside man’s jail term,says magistrate not justified

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Court sets aside man’s jail term,says magistrate not justified

New Delhi, May 2 (PTI) A sessions court here has set free a man, who was awarded 6-month jail term for causing the death of a person by negligently driving a crane, saying the magistrate was neither justified, nor legally correct in convicting him.

Additional Sessions Judge Lokesh Kumar Sharma set aside a trial court order convicting the man under section 304A (causing death by negligence) of the IPC, saying the order was based on “mere assumptions” of the metropolitan magistrate and there was no iota of evidence against him.

“It appears that the Metropolitan Magistrate (MM) had based the conviction of the appellant (man) on his mere assumptions and presumptions because there was not even an iota of evidence on record to show that the accident had taken place due to rashness or negligent driving,” the judge said.

The court said the prosecution was required to prove the manner of rashness or the negligence on the part of the appellant, which had not been explained.

The judge, while allowing the appeal of the man against the magisterial court order that had sentenced him to six months in jail, said “I have no hesitation in holding that the MM was not justified and legally correct in convicting the appellant and sentencing him.”

“Accordingly, the appeal is allowed and the judgement of conviction and consequent order on sentence are hereby set aside and he is acquitted,” the judge said, adding that the MM had chosen portions of evidence in piecemeal to convict the man.

“Perusal of the judgement reveals that the MM had chosen to pick up the portions of evidence from the testimony of the injured, police constable and other witness in piecemeal to hold the appellant guilty and had convicted him in the present case,” the judge said.

According to the prosecution, on May 20, 2009 a negligently driven crane hit an auto-rickshaw carrying two persons on a flyover near Sarai Kale Khan in south Delhi.

Due to the impact, one person died and the other was seriously injured, it said.

The sessions court, however, said there was no evidence that the crane hit the auto as the mechanical inspection report shows there were no marks on both the vehicles to prove the accident.

It also noted that the auto-rickshaw was not hit by any vehicle and had broken down on its own.

“Had the crane actually hit the auto-rickshaw and smashed it, the paint marks of the crane must have come into contact of the rickshaw on its back side or vice versa, but no such paint/colour marks were recorded in the mechanical inspection reports,” the court said.

In his appeal against the conviction and sentence, the man contended that the magisterial court had erred in its order by relying on the testimonies of the owner of the crane and a police constable, who were not even the eye witnesses.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.