The traffic control branch recently took corrective steps regarding the procedural aspects of drink driving cases after receiving a clarification from the Bombay High Court on March 22.
The clarification came while hearing a petition filed by Wadala businessman Nikhil Kishnani (26). Kishnani, who was booked for drink driving on December 26, 2008, had challenged his prosecution for drink driving, contending that the procedure prescribed under Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) was not followed.
He said though the offence was cognisable, the traffic police did not register an FIR and did not submit a proper charge sheet before the trial court concerned.
Senior lawyer Shirish Gupte argued that as the offence empowered the police to arrest offenders without a warrant from the magistrate, the offence was cognisable and therefore the police were required to follow the procedure prescribed under CrPC.
Following the clarification that proper procedure should be followed, the traffic control branch has started registering FIRs, followed by an investigation and the filing of a charge sheet.
Earlier, while hearing a similar petition, the HC had expressed displeasure over the summary procedure followed and the non-compliance of legal procedure of framing charges, explaining the charges to the accused and trying him or her.
Those accused of drink driving started taking objection to the summary procedure after special metropolitan magistrates started handing over prison terms to the accused from 2008 as opposed to letting them off on payment of fine.