Chennai Porsche Accident: Accident victims destined to face double jeopardy

Advocate V.S. Suresh, who deals with motor accident cases, said large number of people drive vehicles under the influence of alcohol.

Chennai: Chennai roads have become a hotspot for accidents committed by drunken drivers. Besides facing serious difficulties in their profession and physical difficulties, road accident victims and their family members are destined to face hardship at the hands of judiciary.

Any amount of compensation will not put their life back on the track. And, no amount will suffice to the victims and their family members, especially the persons, who lost their limbs and lives. Often the persons involved in mowing down the victims by their vehicles go scot-free, say family members of victims.
When DC spoke to experts to decipher the mental status of a tipsy offender, they say it is the combination of reduced cognitive ability and increased emotionality that cause all the problems. “A person in an inebriated condition loses all inhibition and gains overconfidence, which forces him to take risks. Mostly on the roads, they feel like the lord of the road and in control of the machine and speedometer challenges them. When someone overtakes, they feel humiliated and want to prove themselves faster and stronger, which mostly ends up in disaster,” said Dr Lakshmi Vijayakumar, psychiatrist and founder of Sneha suicide prevention centre.

Echoing the same, founder of T.T. Ranganathan Clinical Research Foundation Shanthi Ranganathan explains how alcohol could take away the discretion. “The ability to think right will be lost under the influence of alcohol. That is a crucial reason of why alcohol consumption and crime have a lot of relativity,” said Shanthi.

Advocate V.S. Suresh, who deals with motor accident cases, said large number of people drive vehicles under the influence of alcohol. “Only on a few occasions they get caught during the police check. In majority of the incidents, they return home safely. Police act only when, the persons, under the influence of alcohol, commit accident,” he said.

Cops register a case against them under section 304 A (II) IPC (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) along with section 185 of Motor Vehicle Ac and section 184 of Motor Vehicle Act (Driving dangerously) and court can award sentence up to 10 years to the persons found guilty for the offences committed under section 304 A (II).

Perpetrators of crime under these sections ensure that the cases never come to finality. The make sure that the cases dragged for years and in case sentences awarded in the trial court, they file appeals before high court and SC.

After the accident, the victims and their family undergo ordeal for years and receiving compensation becomes a Herculean task. “Mostly the high and mighty go scot-free because of clever and corrupt lawyers,” said an activist on condition of anonymity.

As per existing laws, persons found guilty of driving vehicles under the influence of alcohol would be fined Rs 10,000 and authorities would cancel driving licence.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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