A magistrate’s court has acquitted a 26-year-old woman accused of running over a pedestrian, observing that the victim was not crossing the road from the zebra crossing. On August 15, 2017, Dilipbhai Parekh, was run over in Colaba by a car being driven by Khyati Khocha, a Tardeo resident. While the police claimed that the car was speeding and had dashed into Parekh, causing fatal head injuries to him, the accused had denied the allegation.
Khocha through her advocates had claimed that on the day of the incident, the festival of Janmashtami was being celebrated in the city and hence there was heavy traffic.
She told the court it was not possible for her to be driving at a high speed through the Colaba market area, which is usually crowded as well.
The court said that apart from the deposition of Parekh’s niece, nobody had deposed that he was walking on the zebra crossing.
The court also relied on the spot panchnama, which did not show if there was a zebra crossing at the spot of the incident, stating it was clear that the deceased was “crossing the road from the place not meant for crossing”.
“Infact, it was a public road on which zebra crossing are drawn from where the pedestrians can cross the road following traffic rules. The pedestrian are not supposed to cross road from any place that is not meant for crossing,” the court said.
“If any person suddenly comes in front of any vehicle on the place which is not a signal or zebra crossing and if there is no heavy vehicular traffic, the vehicle driver is not expected to drive the vehicle in a slow speed,” it further said.
The court said it was necessary for the police to prove that the alleged spot of incident was meant for pedestrian crossing, if there was a speed limit and that the vehicle was being driven at a high speed in a negligent manner. The court said such evidence was missing.
“…the deceased had crossed the road suddenly and the accused was driving the vehicle in a regular manner at the relevant time of accident,” the court said.
In a recent order, the court had similarly acquitted a 65-year-old observing that the deceased was not on a pedestrian crossing at the time of the incident.
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