Drunken drivers are no less than “suicide bombers”, a Delhi court has said while sending an offender to jail for five days. It refused to let off the man on mere payment of fine, saying doing so would convey the message that he can get away by just paying some money.
“Such drivers on the roads are no less than the suicide bombers,” District and Sessions Judge Girish Kathpalia said as he dismissed the plea of Ravi Shankar, a south Delhi resident, who had challenged the five-day jail term claiming that no one can be reformed in prison. The judge said he did not agree with the submission of Shankar’s counsel that imprisonment would not be fruitful as no reformation occurs in jail, and observed that going by this argument, no convict would be imprisoned.
“Leniency in such like cases by converting the sentence of imprisonment to fine would not only send wrong signals to the society but will also have negative impact on the mindset of the convict, conveying to him that by spending money, he can get away with such offences,” the judge said.
Taking a stern view of the issue of drunken driving, the court said “drunken driving is not just a prescribed offence but even a severe social menace. A person driving vehicle after consumption of liquor puts not only his own life to risk but also plays with the life of others on roads.”
It further said that consequences of such accidents fall on innocent road users and their families and even the families of the drunken drivers. The court said it does not find any reason to interfere with the punishment awarded by a magisterial court which had sent him to five days in jail, suspended his driving licence for six months and imposed a fine of Rs 2,000.
According to the police, Shankar was caught driving in an inebriated state on the afternoon of March 13. Shankar had said in his appeal that he was a first time offender and no purpose would be served by sending him to jail as no reformation takes place there.