Observing that the mere driving of a vehicle at high-speed does not amount to driving rashly or negligently, a sessions court has acquitted a 34-year-old Matunga resident on charges of rash driving among others.
Accused charged for speeding in 2009
The Shahu Nagar Police Station had charged the accused Abdul Khan under IPC Sec 353 (criminal force or assault on public servant to deter from discharging duty) and Sec 279 (rash driving) among other offences.
The police alleged that Khan was a thief on their police records and on Feb 24, 2009 in the early hours of the morning he was riding a motorcycle at a high speed towards a market. As per the complaint, the patrol constable tried to stop him, but he tried to flee and hit the police jeep and caused damage to it. Khan and his pillion rider both fell and sustained injuries in the incident.
“Mere driving the motorcycle at high or excessive speed does not amount to driving the vehicle rashly or negligently,” Additional Sessions Judge Shrikhande said in the judgment. The court emphasized that it was 4 am and the road is often empty and the motorcycle is bound to go at a little high speed.
"Giving a dash to the vehicle does not infer he was driving rashly," says Court
The court further said that the mere fact of the accused giving a dash to the vehicle is not sufficient to infer that he was driving rashly or negligently. It also said it is not possible to infer that he was driving the vehicle at a high or excessive speed. Only on suspicion that Khan may be riding a stolen vehicle, the police tried to stop him and brought the police vehicle ahead of his bike and the accident took place. It said for the accident the accused cannot be blamed.
The court held that it was a “pure accident” between two moving vehicles in opposite directions. Further, it reasoned that why would the accused give a dash to a police vehicle when there was every possibility that he himself would get injured. “No purpose was likely to be served by giving a dash to the police jeep,” it stated.
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)