True Court CopyTM English


Criminal Appeal No. 698 of 2010

Decided On: 20.02.2019

Appellants: Thangasamy Vs. Respondent: The State of Tamil Nadu

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:
Abhay Manohar Sapre and Dinesh Maheshwari


Dinesh Maheshwari, J.

1. In this appeal, the Appellant-Accused has called in question the judgment and order dated 07.01.2009 in Crl.R.C. No. 232 of 2006 whereby, the Madras High Court at its Madurai Bench, while dismissing the criminal revision petition, has upheld the conviction of the Appellant for offences Under Sections 279, 337(3 counts) and 304A (4 counts) of the Indian Penal Code ('IPC').

2. Put in brief, the accusation against the Appellant had been that on 24.02.2001 at about 07:15 p.m., while driving a government passenger bus bearing registration No. TN-72-N-0891 in a negligent manner, he caused an accident near Korampallam on Tuticorin-Tirunelveli Main Road, which resulted in the death of four persons namely, Jayaraj, Muniasamy, Gopal and Dharma Nadar whereas three persons namely, Murugan, Senthur Pandian and Krishnan were injured. For the incident in question, FIR came to be registered as Crime No. 70 of 2001; and after investigation, the Accused was charge-sheeted for the offences as aforesaid.

3. In trial, the prosecution, inter alia, relied on the testimony of PW-1 Chellathrai (the informant), who asserted that at the time of the accident, he was standing near Thangaiah STD booth and saw the Accused driving the offending vehicle in a rash and negligent manner, without even blowing the horn; and having caused the accident whereby, four out of five persons, who were standing near the booth, came beneath the vehicle and those four persons succumbed to their injuries whereas, the fifth person was taken to the hospital. PW-2 Samadhana Raj, who had a cycle shop on Korampallam main road, corroborated the testimony of PW-1 and stated that Dharamraj, Gopal, Jayraj etc. had come to his shop to fix a puncture and they were standing on the mud side of the road when the vehicle in question came at a fast speed from Tirunelveli and dashed against them; that a TVS 50 vehicle also came under the offending vehicle; and that he helped the injured to reach the hospital. PW-3 Adhisaya Pandi, who was taking tea at a nearby place, further corroborated the testimonies of PW-1 and PW-2. Moreover, PW-4 Murugan, also a victim of the accident, testified that while he was standing and talking to Muniasamy, Dharma, Senthur Pandian and Murugan, a government bus, which was over-speeding from the right side, caused the accident. This witness also stated that the driver of the bus left the vehicle and fled away from the scene of the accident. PW-5 Senthur Pandian, the only surviving member of the five who came beneath the bus, testified in the same manner as PW-4. He, of course, stated in the cross examination that the driver of the offending bus having ran away, his identity was not known. However, in the examination-in-chief this witness stated thus: "The person who drove the bus is the Accused here. He alighted and went away." This witness also deposed in the cross-examination that a lorry from the opposite direction of the bus came fast after overtaking a bullock cart; and that southern side of the road in question had a slope and any vehicle taking to that side of the road would turn upside down.

4. The Accused-Appellant a........