After five years tractor trolley driver gets one yr jail in 2009 hit-and-run case

  • Shailee Dogra, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Aug 26, 2014 07:45 IST

A local court on Monday convicted Gurbhag Singh of Bilaspur district in Himachal Pradesh for rash and negligent driving which claimed the life of a Dhanas resident in 2009 and awarded the convict one-year jail on the basis of the testimony of the victim's son.

Judicial magistrate HS Bajwa also imposed a fine of Rs 3,500 on Gurbhag.

It was a great sigh of relief for Rajesh Kumar, the victim's son, who finally got justice after nearly five years of having witnessed his father die in a road accident.

“The convict while driving the tractor-trailer without having a valid driving licence on the road in a rash and negligent manner caused the death of Shanichar Mandal, not amounting to culpable homicide.

Taking into consideration the age, character, antecedents, economic status of the accused, the accused is awarded one-year jail,” the court order read.

Even as another eyewitness in the case turned hostile and failed to identify the accused, the court considering the complainant's statement along with the mechanical report of the tractor-trailer involved in the accident helped nail the accused, who tried to wriggle out of the case citing contradictions in the statement.

Gurbhag Singh was arrested on the complaint of Rajesh after the tractor-trailer driven by Singh hit the motorcycle Shanichar Mandal was driving on August 1, 2009. Durbhag had fled from the spot after the accident.

The case:
On August 1, 2009, Rajesh Kumar and his father Sanichar Mandal, residents of Dhanas, were on their way to SAS Nagar. Kumar said his father was going to drop him at his workplace on his motorcycle. He claimed that when his father approached the Sector 39/40 dividing road in Chandigarh, a tractor-trailer hit their motorcycle. Sanichar Mandal was rushed to hospital where he succumbed to the injuries.

Low conviction
Conviction in accident cases is dismally low. Such cases wherein conviction has taken place are:

June 10: Court awarded two year jail to Jarnail Singh for negligent driving in a case wherein a youth was killed on October 2008.

July 7: Court released Balbir Singh, a Phase-11 resident, after convicting him for injuring a couple by rash and negligent driving under the influence of liquor.

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