The High Court of Kerala has ruled that offences of traffic violation cannot be prosecuted at the instance of any private party.
The material fact of the case is that the accused was alleged to be found riding a motorcycle without a protective headgear (helmet) as mandated under Section 129 of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988. Terming this as a traffic violation, the accused, who is a lawyer by profession, was booked for offences under Section 177 read with Section 129 of the Act. The matter was thereupon taken into file before the Court of Judicial Magistrate of First Class –I Alappuzha.
Challenging the above proceedings as unsustainable and terming it ‘gross abuse of power’, the accused through his lawyer Sri BH Mansoor approached the high court, seeking to quash the same.
The accused contended that he cannot be prosecuted for an offence of a traffic violation, based on the complaint of any private citizen. The court after perusing the records and necessary materials upheld the contentions of the accused and quashed the proceedings of the court below.
The court, speaking through Justice Abraham Mathew, opined: “Annexure -1 is the complaint filed by the Sub Inspector of Police, Mararikulam in the court of Judicial Magistrate of First Class-I, Alappuzha. It is alleged that the person shown as witness number 1 in the complainant saw the petitioner riding a motorcycle along the public road without wearing a helmet. The witnesses shown in the complaint is not the complainant police officer but a private citizen. It itself indicates that the allegation is not true. So I am inclined to grant the prayer of the petitioner.”