The traffic police has written to the chief judicial magistrate (CJM) on November 25 asking the courts to send drunken drivers to prison as per the Motor Vehicle Act. The Act prescribes imprisonment upto six months for first time offenders and upto two years for repeaters.
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Requesting the courts to take action against the drunken driving offenders, the letter said, “It is requested that the drunken driving violators can be imprisoned as prescribed under Section 185 of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988, even for the first offence along with suspension of driving license citing directions of the Supreme Court Committee.”
The Supreme Court committee had written to the Chief Secretaries of all states and UTs on March 22 this year stating that mere suspension of licences is not adequate to prevent drunken driving. “The Committee desires that in case of driving under the influence of drinks or drugs, the police shall prosecute the offender and seek imprisonment under Section 185 of the MV Act,” the committee had said in its letter.
SSP Traffic Dr Eish Singhal in a letter to the CJM said that the police was following the Supreme Court committee’s guidelines.
“They had asked the department concerned to suspend the licenses of traffic violators committing violations such as speeding, overloading, drunken driving and using mobile phones while driving, for three months. Also, in case of drunken driving the challan is sent to the court so we have written to the CJM as per the directions of the apex court.”
Speaking to Chandigarh Newsline, Traffic In-charge, Inspector Paramjit Kaur Sekhon said the traffic police has been implementing the directions of the Supreme Court since November 10, confiscating 280 licences for offences such as speeding, using mobile phone or not wearing the seat belt, and recommending their suspension.
“This is the second time we have written to the courts on the issue related to drunken driving. On Holi this year, the courts had effectively imprisoned more than 30 drunken driving violators but there has been a decline in such imprisonment thereafter. It is the discretion of the courts to pronounce the sentence so we are just requesting them and following the directions of the Supreme Court,” Sekhon said.
In the letter, urging the judicial officer to impose the fine for traffic violation as per the Act it was mentioned that the committee constituted under the chairmanship of Justice KS Radhakrishnan has asked the department concerned to suspend license for at least three months for over-speeding, overloading vehicles, drunken driving and using mobile phones while driving.
The letter further elaborated that as per the guidelines of the committee in case of driving under the influence of liquor or drugs the police should prosecute the offender and seek imprisonment, however, the challan has to be sent to the court after impounding the vehicle since it is a non-compounding offence. Thus, the courts have to pronounce the imprisonment as per the Act.