G.K. Sharma, J.
1. Bhagirathsingh who has been convicted of the offence under Section 304A, IPC, by the Munsif & Judicial Magistrate Neem-ka-Thana, and whose conviction and sentence were upheld by the Sessions Judge, Sikar, vide his judgment dated 14th July, 1978, has preferred this revision petition.
2. The prosecution case is that on 29th September, 1970, Baagirath was driving a vehicle bearing No. R.J.V 660, and was going towards Neem-ka-thana. One Kaluram was going on the road along with hn bullocks. Narsa and Bhura were also going with Kaluram who also had bullocks with them. On hearing a sound of motor-bus, the bullocks got frightened, and the bus struck Kaluianu causing him injuries, which ultimately resulted in his death. After investigation, the police submitted a challan against the accused-petitioner. The learned Magistrate, Neem-ka-Tbana found him guilty of the offence under Section 304A, IPC, and sentenced him to rigorous imprisonment for six months, and to pay a fine of Rs. 300/-; and in default of payment of fine, to further undergo simple imprisonment for two months. The said conviction and sentence passed against the accused petitioner, were upheld by the learned Sessions Judge, Sikar.
3. The only point argued by the learned Counsel for the petitioner before me is, that the accident had taken place not on entire negligence of the driving of the vehicle, i.e, the accused-petitioner and that, he was driving there cautiously, and Kaluram along with the bullocks was crossing the road, and when the vehicle came near him. the bullocks got frightened and came in the centre of the road. The accused petitioner tried to save them, and as it is the evidence, he took his bus on the left side of the road, but, unfortunately, it struck Kaluram; who sustained injuries and ultimately expired. So, it cannot be said that the accused-petitioner was solely negligent in driving the bus and causing injuries thereby to Kaluram. However, it was argued that this accident relates to the year 1970, and after a lapse of about 14 years, if the accused petitioner is sent to jail, then, it would be a greit hardship to him. It was argued that the accused-petitioner has already been in jail after his conviction for about 18 days, and that, the sentence already undergone by him, would meet the ends of justice. No other point was raised in the revision petition.
4. The learned Public Prosecutor, on the other hand, has opposed the revision petition and argued that the judgment of the learned trial court is justified and the punishment awarded to the accused-petitioner is proper and reasonable, and that, on account of negligence of the petitioner, one person has lost his life, and as such, six months' rigrous imprisonment as awarded by the learned lower courts, is not excessive.
5. In Jagdish Chander v. The State of Delhi AIR 1973 SC 2127 it has been observed by their Lordships of the Supreme Court as under:
The more difficult question We are now in May, 1973. The criminal proceeding against the appellant have thus gone on since April, 1965 which means a little more than 8 years. The circumstances in which the collusion between the truck and the appellant's scooter occurred seems prima facie to suggest that they (their drivers) were both to blame. Penalties designed to deter crime should be guaged so far as possible to the degree of social danger that is represented by the crime and its repetition. To send the appellant back to jail to serve the sentence of 6 months after 8 years seems to us to be highly unjust for the kind of offence which has been upheld against him by the three courts below. It is unlikely to have; any reformatory effect on him. Harassment of a criminal trial, for more than b years and the expenses which he must have incurred, in our opinion, can legtimately be taken into account when considering the question of sentence to be imposed by this Court at this point of time. The appellant is stated to have served out only three weeks of imprisonment but on a consideration of all the relevant circumstances of the case we think it would be rust and proper to reduce the sentence of imprisonment to that already undergone but to increase the sentence of fine from Rs 500 to Rs. 700/-. Out of the fine, if realised, Rs. 500/- should be paid to the mother of the deceased child.
6. I have given my thoughtful consideration to the rival contentions of the learned Counsel for the parties. It is correct that one person has died in this accident, and the matter is very unfortunate. The incident took place on account of getting frightened of the bullocks. No doubt, the petitioner should have driven the bus more cautiously, and in that circumstance when the animals were going ahead there was all possibility that by hearing the sound of the bus, the animals might get frightened. But, this is only a judgment which should have been taken in this light by the driver that there was possibility of the animals being frightened. If he would have taken this caution, he would have been more vigilant at that time and possibly might have avoided the accident. Any way the incident took place on 29th September, 1970. In the trial court, the petitioner, after facing the trial, was punished on 18th March, 1975 by the Judicial Magistrate, Neenv-ka-Thana. The appeal vas preferred by him and it was dismissed on 14th July, 1978, and then the present revision petition is preferred on 27th July, 1978 since when it has been pending. This shows that the petitioner has faced criminal proceedings for about 14 years. He has been awarded six months rigorous imprisonment and he had served about 18 day's imprisonment It is obvious that during these 14 years, he must have suffered a great mental agony and harassment in facing the trial. He must have also incurred a are expenses in defending the case. So, looking to all these circumstances while considering the question of imposing sentence, I feel that it would be no good now to send the accused back to jail after 14 years of the incident, to complete and serve the sentence awarded to him by the learned lower courts. So in my opinion the sentence of imprisonment already undergone by him in such circumstances, would be sufficient. But I feel that the sentence of fine should be increased. I also feel that some amount should also be paid to the legal representatives of deceased Kaluram, out of the fine deposited by the accused-petitioner.
7. In view of my above observation the revision petition is partly accepted. The conviction of the accused-petitioner under Section 304A IPC, is maintained. But, the sentence of imprisonment awarded to him (is) Teduced to the period already undergone by him. But, the amount of fine of Rs. 300/- is increased to Rs. 700/-. Out of this fine, if realised, a sum of Rs. 300/- be paid to legal representatives of deceased Kaluram. In default of payment of fine, he shall further undergo simple imprisonment for 3 months. The accused-petitioner has already a deposited sura of Rs. 300/- in the lower court. Therefore, the remaining sum of Rs. 400/- should be deposited within a period of two months from today, failing which, he shall serve the sentence awarded to him in default of payment of fine; and the amount of Rs. 300/-which has already been deposited in the lower court, be paid to the legal representatives of deceased Kaluram.