Read Order: Munish Kumar v. State of Punjab

Monika Rahar

Chandigarh, June 15,2022: While discarding an argument by a motor-accident case accused on the non-examination of the doctor who conducted the post-mortem of the deceased-victim, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has held that since the inquest report was proved by the Investigating Officer and the medical certificate pertaining to the cause of the deceased victim’s death showing the immediate cause to be head injury, was also proved therefore, mere non-examination of the doctor who conducted the postmortem examination of the deceased did not in any way benefit the accused/petitioner. 

The present revision petition before the Bench of Justice Jasjit Singh Bedi was filed against the judgment of the Additional Sessions Judge, Mansa, vide which the appeal preferred by the petitioner against the judgment of conviction and order of sentence passed by Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mansa, was dismissed.

Briefly, the facts as narrated in the report under Section 173 Cr.P.C. were that on January 28, 2011, the Police party received information regarding an accident and after reaching the spot, the three injured were admitted to Civil Hospital Mansa. On the next day, when the doctor declared the injured persons to be in a fit state to record their statements, the Police was informed by one of the injured victims that all three of them were on a motorcycle when it was hit was a car which was driven in a rash and negligent manner, leading to injuries to the victims and damage to the motorcycle. 

It was also stated that on being inquired, the driver (before running from the spot) identified himself as Munish Kumar, after which the police reached at the spot and took them to the Civil Hospital, Mansa, where Malkiat Singh (the rider of the motorcycle) was referred to Chandigarh where he died. 

After recording the statement, the injured-complainant signed his statement after admitting the same to be true and correct and ASI made his endorsement on the same and sent the same to the Police Station on the basis of which the FIR was registered. 

Eventually, the accused was convicted and sentenced vide judgment and order of sentence. Aggrieved, he filed an appeal, which was also dismissed leading to the filing of the present revision petition.

The counsel for the petitioner firstly argued that the prosecution could not establish that the accused/petitioner was driving in a rash and negligent manner. He contended that the ownership of the car was not established and it was not produced in Court and therefore, the link evidence was missing. He further contended that the doctor who conducted the postmortem examination of the deceased was not examined and in fact, the son of one police official was driving the car but the name of the petitioner was wrongly incorporated to save the said accused.

On the issue of rash and negligent driving, the Counsel observed that the prosecution witnesses categorically proved on the record that the petitioner caused the accident by his rash and negligent driving. 

Further, on the contention governing the ownership of the car, the Court was of the opinion that the same was released on superdari to the registered owner and therefore, the ownership was clearly established on the file and there was no requirement for the prosecution to examine the witness regarding the registered owner and to prove the ownership of the car. 

Additionally, Justice Bedi added that merely, because the car was not produced in the Court does not mean that the accident did not took place, moreso, when the accident was not denied by the petitioner and his only contention was that the car was being driven by the son of some police official whose name he failed to disclose. 

Also, on the submission governing the non-examination of the Doctor who conducted postmortem of the deceased victim, the Court opined that the medical certificate of the cause of death of Malkiat Singh-deceased was proved on the record which showed the immediate cause of death to be head injury.

“Therefore, mere non-examination of the doctor who conducted the postmortem examination of the deceased does not in any way benefit the accused/petitioner”, the Court held. 

Thus, in light of the above, the Court held that it was proved without any doubt that the death of the deceased and injury to the two witnesses was caused on account of the rash and negligent driving of the petitioner and he was duly and properly identified by the witnesses.

Hence, the revision petition was dismissed.

However, with regard to the sentence, the Court owas of the opinion that the petitioner was a first-time offender and the occurrence was almost 11 years old, therefore, in view of the aforesaid judgments, the sentence was modified and reduced to a period of 1 ½ years. The quantum of fine and sentence in default was not interfered with. 

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