A magistrate court showed leniency to a woman homemaker found guilty of rashly driving her car which led to a 23-year-old woman on a two-wheeler suffering grievous injuries in 2015. It considered that she is a woman having children and that sending her to jail will ruin her family.
The victim Gayatri Zaveri had testified in court that she was proceeding to work on July 6, 2015, on her Activa scooter in the morning at 7. She had reached Jayaraj Nagar Signal on New Link Road, Borivali when a car rammed into her vehicle. She said she had flung five feet in the air due to the impact and fallen. She told the court that she had difficulty breathing immediately after the mishap.
She was taken to Karuna hospital by the car’s driver - Rina D’Souza and a passerby. She had suffered a leg fracture and internal chest bleeding due to the accident. The passerby who helped take Zaveri to the hospital also testified as an eye-witness in court.
The court said in its judgment, “It is the duty of the driver of a vehicle coming from a road that joins the main road to look around for traffic and then turn the vehicle to the main road…had the accused taken that amount of care, the accident could have been avoided…Therefore, clearly, it can be said that the accused violated that duty of care and her breach of duty caused the accident.”
The woman had sought leniency after being found guilty. She said that it was the first time she was convicted for any offence and that she is a homemaker with two children, one of whom is a minor. While deciding the quantum of punishment for the woman, the court considered that it was the accused’s first conviction. It also noted that she had taken the victim to the hospital and not run away from the spot.
“Further, the accused is a woman. She is about 50 years old. Her family depends on her. She is stating that she has one minor son and a daughter,” Metropolitan Magistrate AP Khanorkar said in the judgment passed on Apr 6, adding that if she is sent to jail, her family will ruin. The court then extended the benefit of the Probation of Offenders Act under which a person, usually young first-time offenders, can be released on a bond of good behaviour, instead of being sentenced.
The court however ordered that D’Souza pay a compensation of Rs. 10,000 to Zaveri. “Due to the accident, naturally she may have incurred some expenses in as much as she sustained grievous hurt,” it noted. Further, due to the accident, it said, she would have undergone mental trauma. It would be just and proper, the court stated, that she be compensated for the mental and physical agony caused due to the accident, for no fault of hers.