DINESH KUMAR (CONDUCTOR) Vs. STATE OF UTTARAKHAND
HIGH COURT OF UTTARAKHAND
Dinesh Kumar (Conductor)
STATE OF UTTARAKHAND
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(1.) This appeal, is preferred under Section 374 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (for Short Cr.P.C.), is directed against the judgment and order dated 14.07.2000, passed by Learned Sessions Judge, Almora, in Sessions Trial No. 57 of 1996, whereby said Court has convicted the accused/appellant Dinesh Kumar, under Section 304 part II of I.P.C., under Section 184 and under Section 187 of Motor Vehicles Act 1988. Accused/appellant Dinesh Kumar has been sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for a period of ten years, under Section 304 part II of I.P.C. and rigorous imprisonment for a period of six months under Section 184 and rigorous imprisonment for a period of three months, under Section 187 of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.
(2.) Heard learned counsel for the parties, and perused the lower court record.
(3.) Prosecution story in brief is that on 28.12.1989, a bus bearing Registration No. UGP 4156 belonging to U.P. State Roadways was on its way from Ranikhet to Garud. It started from the Ranikhet at about 3.00 p.m. Accused/appellant Dinesh Kumar was conductor, and co-accused Ganesh Dutt (since deceased) was the driver of the bus. The bus was packed with the passengers, rather over loaded, as it was carrying more than seventy passengers. At about 3:30 p.m. near Monabend the bus caught fire under the seat of the conductor. The passengers shouted and asked the driver to stop the bus. However, the dirver (Ganesh Dutt), who was driving the bus, did not stop it at once. Conductor (appellant/accused Dinesh Kumar) also did not ask the driver to stop the bus. By the time bus stopped, fourteen passengers got roasted in the bus and died due to burn injuries. Eighteen other passengers also suffered partial burn injuries. PW1 Harak Singh, PW2 Narayan Singh and some others namely Bishan Singh, Sher Singh, Malti Devi, Narayan Singh, Shanti Devi, Kala Upadhayay were among the surviving passengers. It is alleged by the prosecution that the driver and conductor ran away after the bus stopped. However, accused/appellant Dinesh Kumar (conductor of the bus) gave a report (Ex. A15) to the Patwari Chaukuni regarding the incident, on the very day (28.12.1989). In certain areas of Uttarakhand Hills certain Revenue Officials are given police powers. It appears that after enquiry on the report of conductor, Patwari Chaukuni lodged First Information Report No. 12 of 1990 (Ex.A28) against both the driver (Ganesh Dutt) and conductor (Dinesh Kumar), in respect of offences punishable under Section 279, 304-A of I.P.C.;
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