Judicial Review on Conviction and Sentencing in Traffic Accident Case

In a significant legal development, a recent court case involved a detailed judicial review of a long-pending traffic accident conviction and sentencing. The Court’s analysis focused on the proportionality of the punishment, especially considering the considerable time elapsed since the incident. This summary delves into the Court’s rationale behind modifying the sentence to a fine and the implications of this decision on similar cases in the future.


  • The appellant filed a Criminal Revision challenging his conviction under Section 279, 337, and 338 IPC.
  • The Judicial First Class Magistrate convicted the appellant and imposed a sentence of six months imprisonment and a fine of Rs.500/-, later converted to a fine by the Court.
  • The Court considered it harsh to send the appellant to jail after 18 years of the occurrence.
  • The Court upheld the conviction under Section 304-A IPC and imposed a sentence of one month imprisonment under Section 337 IPC.
  • The Sessions Judge dismissed the appellant’s appeal against the conviction.
  • The High Court, in a Criminal Revision, also upheld the judgment of the Sessions Judge, leading to the dismissal of the appellant’s petition.
  • Appellant, a bus driver, caused an accident on 16.02.1995 involving injury to car driver of another vehicle.
  • Notice was issued on the question of sentence only on 01.08.2016.
  • Appellant was charged under Sections 279, 337, and 338 IPC.

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  • Appellant is the sole bread earning member of a poor family with four children and a wife.
  • Appellant’s absence due to jail time would cause irreparable injury to the family.
  • Counsel relies on the judgments in A.P. Raju versus State of Orissa, 1995 Supp.(2) SCC 385 and Prakash Chandra Agnihotri versus State of M.P., (1990) Supp. SCC 764 for precedent.


  • The judgment in Prakash Chandra Agnihotri supports the submissions of the appellant’s counsel.
  • The judgments of the courts below were reviewed and found to have no infirmities.
  • The conviction was upheld.
  • The occurrence took place on February 18, 1972.
  • No error found in the conviction recorded
  • Judges view that sending the appellant to jail after 18 years would be harsh


  • The appellant’s six-month sentence under Section 279 and 338 IPC is substituted by a fine of Rs.1000 each.
  • The fine under Section 337 IPC is maintained.
  • The appellant has been on bail throughout.
  • Considering the 26 years elapsed since the incident, the court decides to convert the sentence of six months imprisonment to a fine.
  • The fine amount of Rs.2000 is to be deposited with the Trial Court within two months.
  • The Trial Court will disburse the fine to the parents of the girl or the next of kin if parents are absent.
  • In case of default in fine payment, the appellant will undergo imprisonment for six months.
  • The accused is directed to deposit the total fine of Rs.2000 within one month in the Trial Court.
  • The judgments of the lower Courts are modified accordingly.


Case Number: Crl.A. No.-000536-000536 / 2021

Click here to read/download original judgement

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