Inside Court News

Karnataka High Court Imposes 6 -Month Sentence for Rash Driving, Voices Alarm Over Accidents

Issue: High Court Upholds 6-Month Sentence in Rash and Negligent Driving Case, Expresses Concern over Rising Accidents.

Facts of the Case: The Karnataka High Court recently affirmed a six-month imprisonment sentence under Section 304-A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for a 21-year-old youth, Hanumantharayappa, found guilty of causing the death of a pedestrian by rash and negligent driving. The incident occurred on July 23, 2012, on the Koratagere-Uridigere road when Hanumantharayappa, the rider of a motorcycle, allegedly struck and killed Parameshaiah, the deceased, in front of a puncture shop at Irakasandra colony.

Arguments Presented by Parties: Hanumantharayappa sought to overturn the conviction, contending that Parameshaiah’s intoxication was a contributing factor, causing him to lose control and fall. The defense also emphasized Hanumantharayappa’s lack of criminal history and his role as the sole breadwinner for his family, urging leniency. However, the prosecution, relying on witness testimonies, argued that the accident resulted from the petitioner’s rash and negligent driving.

Reasoning of the Judgement: The High Court, referring to Supreme Court precedents, emphasized the need for a minimum six-month imprisonment for offenses under Section 304-A of the IPC in cases of rash and negligent driving. The court expressed growing concern over the increasing number of accidents involving drivers without valid licenses or insurance, noting a disregard for traffic rules and a lack of discipline among drivers.

The bench examined witness statements and concluded that the accident was a consequence of Hanumantharayappa’s rash and negligent driving, dismissing the defense’s assertion regarding Parameshaiah’s alleged fault. The court underscored that had the petitioner operated the vehicle more cautiously, the accident could have been avoided.

Judgment: The High Court dismissed Hanumantharayappa’s revision petition, upholding the trial court’s conviction and six-month imprisonment sentence. The court highlighted the petitioner’s age at the time of the accident, lack of criminal history, and the concurrent findings of guilt by the trial and appellate courts. The judgment emphasized the importance of enforcing stricter penalties to curb the rising trend of accidents caused by rash and negligent driving.

Case Title: Hanumantharayappa AND State of Karnataka

Written By: Nikita Shankar @nikitaashankar

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