Chennai: An advocate, appearing for a victim, whose husband died in a road accident involving a water tanker lorry without the fitness certificate, raised an important issue before the Madras high court that a lorry which is permitted to run even without the fitness certificate is equal to a driver driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and therefore, applying the same logic, the police should have investigated the case by adding the offence of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
Advocate Abudukumar Rajaratnam raised this issue before Justice N. Anand Venkatesh when a petition filed by Bhagyashree, wife of the deceased Sethuraman, which sought a direction to the police to transfer the investigation into the case relating to the death of her husband from Thalambur police to CBCID, came up for hearing.
The judge said Abudukumar Rajaratnam, counsel for the petitioner, has raised a very important issue before this court. The status report that has been filed by the police reveals the fact that the vehicle which had caused the accident did not posses even the fitness certificate. The motor vehicle inspector in his report has categorically stated that the vehicle does not have a permit and fitness certificate. The counsel submitted that a lorry which is permitted to run even without the fitness certificate is equal to a driver driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Therefore, the counsel applying the same logic submitted that the police should have investigated the case by adding the offence of culpable homicide not amounting to murder. According to Abudukumar Rajarratnam when a vehicle is driven without the fitness certificate, knowledge can be ascribed on the part of the driver/owner to the effect that they knew it is likely to cause a bodily injury/death of a person. “Additional public prosecutor is directed to take instructions on the issue that has been raised by the counsel for the petitioner and there shall also be a direction to the Inspector of Police, Thalambur police station (Traffic), Kancheepuram, to investigate the case in line with the issue that has been raised in this petition. Post this case on September 19, 2019 for filing a further report and to respond to the contentions that have been raised by the counsel for the petitioner”, the judge added.
In her petition filed through advocate Vijayalakshmi K.Rajaratnam, Bhagyashree submitted that on September 20. 2018 at 7 p.m. her husband was traveling from his office in his bike opposite to SSS Hotel (Navalur to Thambur road), proceeding towards Maraimalai Nagar, at that time, a Tanker Lorry in Registration No.TN 21 at 1644 was driven in a rash and negligent manner at high speed and hit her husband, as such he was thrown out and the lorry ran over his head and he died on the spot. The police registered a case under section 279 (Rash driving or riding on a public way) and 304 (A) IPC (Causing death by negligence). Subsequently, she came to know that the lorry stands in the name of M/s Jeppiar Fishing Harbour Mutton Pvt. Ltd and it did not have requisite valid permits. She also came to know that more than one vehicle has been plying using the same registration number and belong to the same company, she added.