Tamil Nadu

School van driver gets seven-year jail term

For causing death of three schoolchildren in 2014


The Additional District and Sessions Court here has awarded seven-year imprisonment to a school van driver for causing the death of three schoolchildren in an ‘accident’, holding that it was not a case of accident but culpable homicide.

Stating that the prosecution had clearly proved that it was a case of culpable homicide, Additional Sessions Judge D. Lingeswaran held the accused, B. Akbar Ali (23), guilty under Section 304 Part II of the Indian Penal Code (knowing that the act would cause death) and awarded the imprisonment.

The judge also held him guilty under Sections 279 (rash and negligent driving to endanger human life) and 337 (causing hurt) of the IPC and imposed fine of ₹1,000 and ₹500 on those counts respectively. If the accused failed to pay the fine, he should undergo six-month and three-month jail terms on the charges respectively. The sentences would run concurrently, he said.

The prosecution case was that Akbar Ali, who was taking schoolchildren in a van from Thondi, caused the death of three of them – S. Saravanakumar (8), G. Priya (11) and A. Aarthi (10), all from Nambuthalai in Thiruvadanai block – on March, 7, 2014 due to rash and negligent driving.

After moving in a zig zag way, the van dashed to the other side of the road and collided with an oncoming lorry. While two children were crushed to death on the spot, another one succumbed to injuries on the way to hospital. Two other children sustained injuries, the prosecution said.

Though the witnesses deposed that the accused was drunk at the time of the accident, the charge could not be proved with medical records, the judge said. However, it was clear that the accused had crossed the centre line and reached the other side of the road “like committing suicide and killing the occupants intentionally,” he said.

There might not be an intention to kill the children, but the accused had the knowledge that crossing the centre line would result in accident, the judge observed, and held that “this case falls under the category of culpable homicide.”

The accused was present in the court when the judge delivered the verdict, and he was taken to be lodged in Madurai Central Prison.

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Printable version | Jun 7, 2020 9:35:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/school-van-driver-gets-seven-year-jail-term-ramanathapuram/article22398368.ece

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