EASO MATHEW Vs. STATE OF KERALA
HIGH COURT OF KERALA
STATE OF KERALA
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(1.) The petitioner in this case was convicted of the offences under S.279 & 304-A, I. P. C. by the Additional First Class Magistrate, Kottarakara, in C. C. No. 200 of 1965 on his file, and sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for six months for the offence under S.304-A. He filed an appeal in the Sessions Court, Quilon. The learned Sessions Judge dismissed the appeal and confirmed the conviction and sentence passed by the Trial Court. Petitioner has, therefore, come in revision before this court.
(2.) On 8 9 1965 at about 3.00 p. m. the petitioner was driving a service bus KLQ. 1911 along the Quilon-Shencotta road from west to east. One Janardhanan, the deceased, was proceeding on a bicycle along the same road from east to west. Janardhanan was knocked down by the bus and he fell on the northern side of the road. He was taken to the hospital; and at about 6.50 p.m. on the same day, he expired as a result of the injuries sustained by him. The prosecution case is that the petitioner was driving the vehicle at a high speed on the wrong side of the road, viz., the southern side, and as a result of his rash and negligent driving he knocked down the cyclist, who was coming from the opposite direction on his proper side. Three witnesses were examined by the prosecution to prove this version. They are, pws. 4, 5 and 8. According to the petitioner, he was coming on his proper side, namely, on the northern side of the road and the cyclist was coming on the wrong side, and when the cyclist approached the bus, he suddenly swerved to his left, as a result of which the cyclist knocked against the left side of the bus and fell down. Petitioner examined D.ws. 1 and 2 in support of his version. The Trial Court accepted the evidence of the prosecution witnesses and rejected that of the defence witnesses, and found the petitioner guilty of the offences charged against him. The learned Sessions Judge agreed with the Trial Court's finding, and confirmed the conviction and sentence.
(3.) The learned counsel for the petitioner raised three points before me. They are, (1) the prosecution evidence cannot be accepted on the facts and circumstances of the case and his client was not guilty of the offences charged against him; (2) assuming that the petitioner was guilty of the offence charged under S.279, he was not liable for the offence under S.304-A I. P. C. because the accident happened not as a result of rash and negligent act on the part of the petitioner, but as a result of the negligence of the deceased, and (3) in any view of the matter the sentence awarded is excessive. The learned counsel for the petitioner took me to the whole of the evidence in the case. Ordinarily, I would not have gone into the evidence when the findings of the lower courts are concurrent. But in this case I feel that the courts below have missed one important aspect, on the basis of which the oral evidence should have been appreciated.;
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