STATE OF HIMACHAL PRADESH Vs. GURCHARAN SINGH
LAWS(HPH)-1997-11-26
HIGH COURT OF HIMACHAL PRADESH
Decided on November 25,1997

STATE OF HIMACHAL PRADESH Appellant
VERSUS
GURCHARAN SINGH Respondents

JUDGEMENT

ARUN KUMAR GOEL, J. - (1.)STATE has filed this appeal against the judgment dated 22nd December, 1993 passed by the Sub Judicial Magistrate, Sundernagar. As per case of the prosecution, the respondent was driving car bearing registration No. DEC -2994 on the 18th March, 1991. This car was driven in a rash and negligent manner on a public way. When it was coming from Mandi side and was on its way towards Sundernagar, then at a place known as Dhanotu this accident took place at about 6 P.M. As a result of the aforesaid acts of the respondent while driving the car in question on a public way, respondent caused injuries to Smt. Chuhari, to which she succumbed later on in the hospital. It may be appropriate to mention here that the death as per prosecution was the immediate result of the injuries sustained by the deceased in the accident in question.
(2.)THIS fact came to the knowledge of Addl. S.H.O., S.I. Karam Singh (PW.6). He sent a ruqua, which led to registration of the case Ex. PW.6/D at Police Station vide F.I.R. No. 123/91. In these circumstances, investigation of the case was undertaken by the police. Trial Court being satisfied that there is prima facie material to proceed against the respondent, issued notice under Section 251 Cr.P.C., to which he pleaded not guilty and claimed trial which resulted in acquittal. Hence, this appeal at the instance of the State.
(3.)IN this case, eye witnesses are PW.1 Shri Chet Ram and Shri Devi Singh (PW.3) as projected by the prosecution during the course of the trial below. When a reference is made to the statement of PW.1, he has spoken that a jeep was involved in the accident, which was witnessed by him. He has also admitted in his cross -examination that he can distinguish between a car, a jeep, a truck and a bus. On the other hand, the other so called eye witness Shri Devi Singh has spoken that a car having been involved in the accident. This is a major and material contradiction in the accident regarding the vehicle which caused the accident in question. It hardly needs to be emphasized that the distinction of a car and jeep is quite obvious. In case, both PW.1 and PW.3 were present on the spot when accident took place, ordinarily, they would have said so in one voice about the vehicle that was involved in the accident.
It has come in the statement of PW.1, PW.3 and PW.6 that deceased Smt. Chuhari was struck by the vehicle when she was in the middle of the road. She had crossed a truck before reaching the spot where accident took place. It has also come in the statement of these witnesses that brakes were applied immediately by the respondent who had brought the vehicle to a standstill. In case, the vehicle was being driven either in a rash or negligent manner or at a high speed, then it would not have been possible for the respondent to have brought the car to a grinding halt. So far high speed of a vehicle is concerned, by itself it cannot be termed as an act of either rash or negligent driving which would depend upon the road and terrain, in which the road is located, rush of traffic, both vehicular and otherwise. There is no such evidence in the instant case enabling this Court to come to a conclusion that the speed of the vehicle was such which can be termed as an act of rashness on the part of the respondent. To the contrary, it has come in the cross -examination of PW.1 Shri Chet Ram that he is unable to state whether the speed of the vehicle was 10 K.M. or 15 K.M. This shows that he had no sense of speed at which the vehicle was driven at the time of accident.



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