‘Any punishment that will be imposed in these type of offences shall act as a deterrent one so that the same offence cannot be repeated next time.’
Rejecting plea of a man sentenced to 10-days’ imprisonment for drunken driving, the Telangana and Andhra Pradesh High Court in D Chandra Sekhar vs The State Of Telangana has observed that the punishment to be awarded to a drunken driver at least should act as a deterrent for others, who are resorting to such type of violations.
Chandra Sekhar had pleaded guilty for drunken driving before the magistrate, who, considering the fact that it is the second time that he committed the offence, sentenced him for simple imprisonment for 10 days and also to pay a fine of Rs. 3,000. As the appeal filed in the session’s court also got dismissed, he approached the high court.
Apart from other points raised, the counsel for the accused pleaded before the high court that as the petitioner being a private employee, if he is asked to undergo simple imprisonment for 10 days, there may be a possibility of losing the job and he being the only earning member in the family, the family may also face some difficulties and the same will have a greater impact resulting mental agony for the family before the society in general and the friends and relatives in particular.
However, Justice P Keshava Rao said any punishment that would be imposed in these type of offences shall act as a deterrent one so that the same offence cannot be repeated next time.
“This Court is conscious of the fact that simple imprisonment for a period of ten days would result in lot of serious complications not only on the petitioner but also on the family members. But, this Court has to balance the rights of the petitioner as guaranteed under the Constitution of India vis--vis the interest of the public at large for the reason that while driving in a drunken condition, the petitioner not only causes harm to himself but endangers the rights of the other public, who are the pedestrians and etc. Sometimes it may lead to serious causalities resulting in death also. As such, when the petitioner has not learnt from his earlier mistake and had committed a similar offence for the second time within two years, it cannot be taken lightly and at the same time he should be conscious of the commission of offence once again and should not repeat it in future.”
Upholding the magistrate’s order, the bench observed: “Though the petitioner has violated the mandatory procedure as contemplated under the provisions of the Act, more particularly, Section 185 of the Act and though no untoward incident has taken place even he was under the high influence of liquor, it cannot be said that the petitioner is not guilty of the offence nor a lenient view can be taken. In fact, the petitioner has committed the same offence within two years. The drunken driving has become a menace for our society. In many cases it is leading to many casualties. The innocent pedestrians are losing their lives and families are being shattered. The punishment to be awarded to a drunken driver at least should act as a deterrent for others, who are resorting to such type of violations. “