Observing that an engineering student, who was 19 years old when she was booked for driving her scooter in a rash and negligent manner in January 2019, the Bombay High Court last week quashed and set aside the FIR against her citing that continuation of criminal proceedings against her would not be in the interest of justice.
Noting that “it is the duty of every driver or rider of a motor vehicle to obey traffic signs”, the HC imposed a penalty of Rs 10,000 on her to be paid to the Juvenile Justice Board.
A division bench of Justice S S Shinde and Justice M S Karnik on January 7 passed the ruling on a criminal writ plea by the student, who sought to quash criminal proceedings initiated by Lashkar police station in Pune on January 6, 2019, under Section 279 (punishment for rash driving or riding on a public way) of the IPC.
Advocates R D Soni and Sujay Gawade, appearing for the petitioner, told the court that the student, a “merit holder” with a “brilliant academic record”, is at present pursuing an engineering course. On January 6, 2019, the day of the incident, she was going to prepare for a college project, they added. The bench noted, “It goes without saying it is the duty of every driver/rider of the motor vehicle to obey traffic signs. Considering that the petitioner at the relevant time was 19 years of age and academically bright student had to face criminal proceedings up to now, in our opinion, continuation thereof any further would not be in interest of justice. In our opinion, to secure ends of justice, we feel that the criminal prosecution should now rest at this stage.”
“There is nothing on record to show that the petitioner habitually breaches traffic rules. It appears that this is allegedly the first lapse on her part,” it added.
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