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Don’t let minors drive, you may land in jail

According to the Motor Vehicles Act, it's an offence to hand over a vehicle to a person not holding a valid driving licence, reports Naziya Alvi.
Hindustan Times | By Naziya Alvi, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 08, 2008 01:11 AM IST

Do not give your bike or car to a minor, not even your child. It may land you in jail.

In what could be an eye-opener for indulgent parents, a city court has convicted a "negligent" father for leaving his bike unlocked, enabling his 14-year-old son and his friend to take it on a ride. The friend, who was driving the bike, died in an accident. He did not have a driving licence.

Metropolitan Magistrate Tarun Shehrawat convicted Ashok Kumar, a resident of Chittaranjan Park, under provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act that make it an offence to hand over a vehicle to a person not holding a valid driving licence. The under-used provision talks of "responsibility of owners of motor vehicles" and prescribes three months in jail or a fine of Rs 1,000 or both for offenders.

The court said it was Ashok's negligence that led to the death of his son’s friend on February 23 last year. The boys had met with an accident near RD Marg in Kalkaji.

Ashok pleaded guilty before the court, which took a lenient view and did not send him to jail. Instead, it asked him to hold a health awareness camp in his area for three days.

Legal experts termed it as an unusual conviction. "Such cases are usually converted into rash and negligent driving and the onus falls on the driver. It's a rare thing to convict a father for his negligence," said advocate Tarun Goomber.

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