GURDAS SINGH Vs. STATE OF HIMACHAL PRADESH
HIGH COURT OF HIMACHAL PRADESH
STATE OF HIMACHAL PRADESH
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(1.) This criminal revision, at the instance of the accused Gurdas Singh, is against the judgment dated 30-7-1988 passed by the Sessions Judge, Una, whereby the judgment dated 27-10-1987 of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Una, District Una, was affirmed. The Chief Judicial Magistiate, Una, had convicted Gurdas Singh under Ss.279, 304-A, 337 and 338 of the Indian Penal Code and sentenced him to undergo rigorous imprisonment for six months for each of the offence. The sentences were ordered to run concurrently.
(2.) The brief facts of the case are that in the year 1985 Gurdas Singh was working as Driver in Himachal Road Transport Corporation and was posted in its Depot at Una. He was deployed on bus No. HPG-701 which was handed over to him on 13-2-1985 after its defective brakes went repaired. Gurdas Singh took the bus for trial, before putting it to normal use, towards the Bus stand. Sh. Dharampal who was working as Helper in the workshop at Una also accompanied him. He found that the brakes went still defective and when applied, the bus used to veer towards the right. Therefore, he reversed the bus and proceeded towards the workshop. When he reached near fertilizer shop with the name and style of IFFCO, situated on the road leading to HRTC workshop from the bus stand, he went to the extreme right and rammed into a scooter which was coming from the opposite direction. One Devinder Pal was the driver of the scooter and one Suresh Kumar was riding its pillion. As a result of the accident, Devinder Pal suffered various grievous injuries and succumbed to them after reaching the hospital. Sureshkumar also received a number of grievous as well as simple injuries. His statement was recorded under S. 154, Cr. P.C. while he was admitted in the hospital. On the basis of his statement FIR was lodged. On mechanical test, the scooter was found in perfect order whereas the brakes of the bus were found defective. Thereafter challan was put up and the case was tried. Gurdas Singh in his statement under S. 313, Cr. P.C. took the defence, inter alia, that he applied brakes to save one cyclist and did not notice the scooter coming from the opposite direction. The Chief Judicial Magistrate convicted him holding him guilty under Ss. 279, 304-A, 337 . and 338 of the Indian Penal Code. His findings were affirmed by the Sessions Judge in appeal filed by Gurdas Singh.
(3.) I have heard the learned counsel for the parties and gone through the record. Sh. Harish Behal, learned counsel for Gurdas Singh, has urged that the prosecution has failed to prove that his client was rash and negligent in driving the bus. According to him, to take the bus for trial, in order to check whether its brakes were rapaired satisfactorily or not, shows that Gurdas Singh was not negligent but was diligent. The moment Gurdas Singh came to know that the brakes were still defective, he had turned the bus towards the workshop to get it repaired. Mr. Behal further submits that there was no alternative for Gurdas Singh but to apply brakes to save one cyclist which resulted into the complained of accident for which he cannot be held responsible. The speed of the bus, at the time of the accident, is proved to be 15 to 20 Kilometres which cannot be held as high speed. To decide these points, it is necessary to scan the evidence on the record.;
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