Observing that the traffic police failed to follow the procedure to act against drunken drivers, the High Court of Karnataka has discharged a software engineer and his friend from the charge of assaulting a traffic policeman, when they were booked for driving a motorcycle under the influence of alcohol.
Justice Mohammad Nawaz passed the order while pointing out that the traffic police had failed to videograph the activity of checking drunken driving as per the circular issued in 2015 by the Bengaluru police.
The court also pointed out that the traffic police had even failed to call the jurisdictional police to act against the accused persons as mandated in the circular.
As the traffic policeman had collected the fine for drunken driving from the accused, the court found that it was a violation of the circular. Only the court is authorised to decide the fine amount for drunken driving, and under no circumstances can the fine be collected by the traffic police to pay it on behalf of the accused.
Though complaint lodged by the traffic policeman had said that the accused were apprehended with the help of the public, the court found that no member of the public were cited as eyewitnesses in the chargesheet, which was filed merely on the basis of statements of two police constables.
“I have no hesitation to hold that the ingredients of the offence alleged are not made out. The materials collected by the prosecution are not sufficient to show that the incident as projected by the prosecution has taken place,” Justice Nawaz observed.