In the case of Manish Kumar v State of NCT Criminal Appeal no. 20/19, the Additional Sessions Judge, Sonu Agnihotri, passed a lenient order to a man who was caught for drunk driving has been ordered to serve the old age home instead of facing two days of imprisonment as going to jail will risk his job since he is the sole bread winner of the family.

Additional Sessions Judge, Sonu Agnihotrti, ordered the 36 year old to do seva at the old age home for two and furnish daily photographs of him doing the seva. The court was of the opinion that the punishment must be changed to serving in the old age home as jail time would make him lose his job at a reputed multinational company.

Even though the judge changed his sentence, emphasis was still laid on the right to safe passage of people in general. Moreover the judge also changed the permanent cancellation of his license to a suspension of six months.

It is not disputed that the appellant is not a previous convict. Appellant as per his identity card is doing a private job and is sole bread earner of his family. Appellant being first time offender deserves to be dealt with leniently but at the same time balance has to be maintained keeping in view right of others to have safe passage on the road in the circumstances wherein the appellant was challenged i.e. the quantity of alcohol was found to be much beyond prescribed limits in the present case.

 In these circumstances, appeal filed by appellant is allowed and impugned order dt 22.03.2019 is modified to the extent that appellant instead of being sent to simple imprisonment for two days be asked to do seva in Old Age Home, Sector 1, J.J Colony, Jankipuri, Bindapur near Talabwala Park, Shiv Mandir, New Delhi for period of two weeks from 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Appellant is directed to file daily photographs of doing seva. Appellant is directed to file daily photographs of doing seva after period of two weeks and let his presence in Old Age Home be certified by Manager of the said Old Age Home alongwith conduct report of appellant i.e. appellant performed tasks assigned to him,” ordered ASJ Agnihotri.

The order of the court however did state that if the man gives the service day even one day’s miss then the two day imprisonment shall be invoked and be retrieved as a form of punishment.

The appellant in this case was found driving under the influence of alcohol on the night of February 22. The quantity of liquor consumed was found to be 550 mg /100 ml which is much higher than permissible limit i.e. 30 mg/ 100 ml.

He appeared before the Magistrate on March 22 and pleaded guilty and was sentenced a two day plain imprisonment, a challan of Rs. 2000 and cancellation of his driving license.

The appellant went in appeal of the said order of the Magistrate challenging his conviction that the quantity of alcohol was wrongly recorded by the police as 550mg and that he was not heavily drunk and was merely returning from an office party in Gurugram. Moreover he stated that such a conviction would have adverse effects as he is the sole bread winner of the family and needs to look after his wife, parents and kids.

The sessions court, however, held that having pleaded guilty before the magisterial court, he could not challenge his conviction but modified his sentence.

Judgment Link-Manish Kumar V State of NCT  Delhi

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