Rapping the police for lodging an FIR in a “casual manner” during the drive undertaken to curb wrong side driving, the Bombay High Court has quashed a case registered against two persons who were made accused in the same FIR although their alleged offences were distinct and disconnected. The court also noted that the chargesheet filed standing them did not prima facie make a case of rash or negligent driving in a manner which will endanger human life or likely to cause injury to other person. The FIR was lodged against the two persons on April 29, 2022 by Jogeshwari police.
"By this Petition the Petitioner seeks quashing of FIR registered with Jogeshwari Police Station for the offences under Sections 279 and 336 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 184 of the Motor Vehicles Act. Sakshi Mane, learned counsel appearing for the Petitioner submits that, the allegation in the FIR is that, on 29th April, 2022 at about 10.10 am, the Petitioner was driving his motorcycle dangerously at high speed in the opposite direction of on-going traffic. By the same FIR another driver of two wheeler has also been charged with the same offence. The FIR has been lodged due to a drive undertaken by the police to lodge FIR for wrong side driving. Prima facie the FIR does not make out the alleged offences. The petitioner is 22-year-old having recently secured employment and prosecuting the Petitioner on the basis of the FIR would amount to abuse of process of law," the court order stated.
The assistant public prosecutor submitted that Petitioner was found driving the two-wheeler in the opposite direction of on-going traffic. "The allegation in the FIR is that the Petitioner was driving his two wheeler at a high speed in the opposite direction of the ongoing traffic. The offence under Section 279 of the IPC is attracted if the vehicle is driven in a rash or negligent manner as to endanger human life or likely to cause hurt to other person. Except making a bald allegation in the FIR that the two-wheeler was driven at high speed in the opposite direction of traffic there is no act attributed to the Petitioner to indicate that the driving was in a rash or negligent manner. Considering the allegation in the FIR, as regards the charge for offence under Section 336 of the IPC is concerned, the ingredients of rash or negligent act are not made out from the FIR," the order stated.
"To sustain a charge under Section 184 of the Motor Vehicles Act, the person has to drive the vehicle at a speed or in a manner dangerous to the public having regard to the circumstances enumerated in the said Section. It is not disputed that the Petitioner was driving the vehicle on a service road and the said fact would constitute one of the elements to attract the offence under Section 184. In the charge-sheet, prima facie, we do not find the allegations as regards the circumstances to be considered to attract the offence under Section 184 of the Motor Vehicles Act. Upon perusal of the charge sheet, prima facie, we do not find any case made out to sustain the charge for offences under Sections 279, 336 of IPC and Section 184 of M.V.Act. The allegations in the FIR are lacking in the requisite ingredients to constitute the aforestated offences," stated the order.
"No statement of an independent witness has been recorded. It appears that, in view of the drive undertaken to curb wrong side driving, the FIR has been lodged in a casual manner the FIR does not make out prima facie case of rash or negligent driving in a manner which will endanger human life or likely to cause injury to other person so as to attract the alleged offences. It also needs to be noted that, two persons are impleaded as accused in single FIR although the acts alleged are distinct acts and unconnected with each other," the order stated.