New Delhi, Jan 28 (PTI) An eight-month jail term awarded to a man for ramming his car into a stationary truck and causing death of a person has been set aside by a Delhi court which said the convict did not get proper opportunity to cross-examine a key eye witness. Also Read - Republic Day Violence: Delhi Court Sends Actor-Activist Deep Sidhu To 14-Day Judicial Custody
Additional Sessions Judge Suresh Kumar Gupta quashed the conviction and sentence order of the magisterial court and asked it to decide the matter afresh in accordance with law. Also Read - Court Acquits Priya Ramani in Defamation Case by MJ Akbar, Cites Ramayana: 'Reverence To Women Essential To Indian Ethos'
“To my mind, trial court has not given proper opportunity for the cross examination of prosecution witness though reliance is placed on his testimony while convicting the appellant (convict),” the judge said while allowing the appeal of the car driver against the conviction and sentence orders. Also Read - Republic Day Violence: Delhi Court Sends Deep Sidhu to 7-Day Police Custody In connection with Red Fort Incident
The sessions court observed that cross examination of any witness “is essential in order to bring out the truth during the course of cross examination. The appellant has no way to bring his defence on record except to test the credibility of the witness during the course of cross examination”.
According to the prosecution, on March 19, 2010 at 1 am, a rashly and negligently driven car hit a stationary truck near Moolchand flyover and crushed the man who was changing the truck’s flat tyre.
In the accident, another person Abhishek Chaurasia, who was sitting in the car, got injured and was taken to the hospital by passers-by, it said.
The sessions court noted that Chaurasia’s testimony led to the conviction and sentencing of the car driver but he was not properly cross examined by the counsel for the convict.
“PW 1 (Chaurasia) is an eyewitness. He has narrated facts leading to the accident. The cross examination of any witness is essential in order to bring out the truth during the course of cross examination. The appellant has no way to bring his defence on record except to test the credibility of the witness during the course of cross examination,” it said.
The car driver was convicted of the offences of causing death by negligence and rash driving under the Indian Penal Code and handed down eight-month rigorous imprisonment on February 3, 2017.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.