Decided on March 06,1967

Kunju Pallai Parameswaran Pillai Appellant
THE STATE Respondents


- (1.) This revision petition is directed against the conviction and sentence passed on the Petitioner by the Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Adoor in S.T. 208 of 1966 under Section 279 and 337 Indian Penal Code. The sentence awarded is a fine of Rs 100/- in default he has to undergo simple imprisonment for 45 days.
(2.) The case against the accused was that at about 3-45 p.m. on 28.11.65 while he was driving the bus K.L.Q. 4376, due to negligent driving the vehicle happened to collide with another bus K.R.K. 605 which was being driven by Pw3. It is alleged that the accused was competing with the other bus and in the course of that the vehicle happened to collide with the other. Both the buses were fully loaded with passengers and as a result of the collision the passengers in both the buses were injured.
(3.) The learned Magistrate seems to have gone at tangent and drawn conclusions from matters not strictly relevant for the enquiry. It is the admitted case of the prosecution that the accused's bus was hit by the other bus in the rear. It is the back portion of the body of the bus that was hit by the front bumper of the other bus. Under normal circumstances the person who hits from behind must be held to have been negligent; but in the present case a contrary view is seen taken by the learned Magistrate and in doing so he has been influenced by the matter not relevant at all for the case. For instance, rashness has been found on the part of the accused from the rude treatment meted out to P.W. 1, one of the passengers, by the conductor before the occurrence. The learned judge would describe that episode in the following way: "The witness (P.W. 1) when went to board the bus was dragged in by the conductor and cleaner who were standing at the footboard. This would mean that the driver did not stop the bus for a sufficient time so as to enable a passenger to board the bus by himself. Passengers were dragged in." From this the inference drawn by the learned Magistrate is that even before the other bus was sighted the accused was in a hurry, and even for allowing passengers to get into the bus sufficient time was not allowed. Passengers were, as a matter of fact; dragged into the bus in a hurry. It is unfair to attribute rashness or negligence to the accused in respect of the incident from this circumstance, which even if true was long before the actual collision. There is also the further fact seen from the Photograph which was placed before me for reference, that the accused's bus was lying farther to the left leaving sufficient space on its right for another vehicle to pass. Even according to the prosecution, on seeing the approach of the other bus the accused's bus gave side and was stopped on the left side ; but at this stage the prosecution would come forward with the further allegation that after swerving to the left the accused's bus suddenly stopped and swerved its rear body towards the right and it was as a result of that, that the other bus happened to collide with it. This is not correct. In the first place, the photo does not support this case ; and secondly, it was the left side bumper of the other bus that hit against the accused's bus. If negligence is to be presumed from the fact that the accused was racing with the other bus, the driver of the other bus also must equally be held guilty, because racing or competition involves action on both sides. In any view of the matter the conviction has only to be quashed.;

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