A DTC driver accused of driving rashly and mowing down a pedestrian,who was crossing a road,has been absolved of the charges by a Delhi court which held that drivers cannot always be blamed for accidents due to the “menace of jaywalking” in the city.
Observing that “even the most vigilant driver cannot avoid an accident if someone unexpectedly walks into middle of the road”,Metropolitan Magistrate (MM) Dharmender Rana acquitted accused Ajab Singh of the charges of causing death due to rash and negligent driving.
“It is evident the deceased was attempting to cross the road from a point where he was least expected to cross it,” the court said referring to a site plan of the accident spot and added “even the most vigilant and careful driver cannot avoid an accident when a pedestrian all of a sudden comes in the middle of the road when his presence is least expected.
“The menace of jaywalking on Delhi roads is a matter of concern and the unfortunate drivers cannot always be blamed for any accident on the roads,” the magistrate said.
According to the prosecution,on April 28,2000 at 4.45 PM near Mauzpur here,accused Ajab Singh was driving a DTC bus in a rash and negligent manner and had hit one Hari Krishan Jain,who succumbed to his injuries in the hospital.
The victim’s brother,who was an eyewitness,had deposed in court that the offending vehicle was being driven by the accused at high speed and it had hit his brother,who was trying to cross the road.
The court,however,refused to consider the testimony saying an “impulse on the part of the eyewitness to ensure the conviction of the bus driver who was involved in a fatal accident wherein the brother of the eye witness has expired cannot be ruled out.”
“I am of the opinion that prosecution has failed to prove that offending vehicle was driven by accused in a rash or negligent manner. The accused deserves benefit of the doubt. He is accordingly acquitted of the charges against him,” the court said.