A Delhi court has held that speed is not synonymous with negligent and reckless driving, while acquitting a bus driver, convicted by a trial court for crushing a boy to death.
Additional Sessions Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar set aside the trial court ruling that convicted bus driver Shri Kishen, a resident of south east Delhi, and also said the driver was not responsible for accident if a person suddenly comes in front of his vehicle.
"The law is very well settled that when a vehicle is driven on the road and a person comes in front of it accidentally or suddenly, then the driver of the vehicle will not be responsible for the accident. The speed of a vehicle itself does not prove the rashness or negligence of the driver of the vehicle," the judge said.
"Merely because an accident has taken place with the bus driven by the accused, one cannot draw the inference that the accused was driving the vehicle in a rash and negligent manner," he said.
The sessions court's order came on an appeal by Shri Kishen, convicted in January 2010 by a magisterial court on charges of causing death due to rash and negligent driving.
Kishan was sentenced to two years in jail for causing death of 12-year-old Inderjeet on Jaitpur road near NTPC office in south Delhi while driving a bus on August 2, 2000.
The boy died later in hospital.
In his appeal before the court of ASJ, Kishan submitted that there was no evidence to prove that he was driving the vehicle rashly and negligently.
He also alleged that one of the key witnesses in the case, traffic constable Brij Mohan, who deposed that the bus was being driven at a fast speed, was a planted witness.
The court held that Mohan's presence at the site was highly doubtful and his estimation of fast speed does not prove the rashness or negligence of the accused.
The court took into account the fact that no skid marks were noticed on the road nor any investigation was done to see if any such marks were visible.
It also observed that the site plan prepared by the police neither showed the direction from which the bus was coming, nor did it show the direction from which the child was crossing the road.