After 14 years of trial, a city court has acquitted a Blueline driver charged with rash and negligent driving, resulting in grievous injuries to a roadside fruit seller.
Interestingly, the court observed neither the victim nor the police official, who were eyewitnesses in the case, saw the bus being driven in a rash and negligent manner.
Slamming the police for delaying the trial for more than a decade, additional chief metropolitan magistrate Rakesh Pandit said eyewitness additional sub-inspector Harish Ram deposed in his cross examination that his vehicle was standing at about 90-100 metres from the place of incident.
The judge said, "He has not spoken anything as to whether accused was driving rashly or negligently. It can be assumed that he could not do so as there was a considerable distance between their place and the place of occurrence."
The court noted as per eyewitness Sukhdev Chaudhary, he was hit from behind and on being hit he became unconscious. In cross examination, he admitted that police had told the bus number to him. "So, it means that he is not aware regarding the identity of the bus, its driver or the fact that whether it was being driven rashly," said the judge.
According to the prosecution, on May 28, 1997 at about 9.15am on Gurgaon Road near Subbe Farm, the accused identified as Bhagwan (who uses his first name) was rashly or negligently driving a bus as to endanger human life and personal safety of others. Following his rash driving, the accused struck against Sukhdev Chaudhary and caused grievous injuries to him.
The court noted none of the eyewitnesses could prove that the vehicle was being driven rashly. In these circumstances, prosecution failed to prove on record that accused had committed the offence.