A drunk driver is like a “suicide bomber who has set out to kill himself and other road users,” said a judge in Delhi today, calling for stricter punishment, just as Supreme Court judges did 24 hours ago.
The judge made his comments in the case of a Delhi auto driver who had challenged a 20-day jail sentence on the grounds that he is a “first-time offender”.
The judge rejected that appeal, pointing out that the driver was drunk during peak rush hour. “There would have certainly been a horrible tragedy, if he was not stopped by traffic police officials,” observed Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhatt said.
On Monday, the Supreme Court said that the “rich and mighty” in India have gotten used to light punishment for rash driving and they “feel they are the emperors of all they survey.” The top court’s remarks were made in a case field by the Punjab government challenging a high court decision to reduce the jail sentence from a year to just 24 days for a driver whose actions killed two people in 2007.
India has among the world’s worst road accident statistics. Earlier this year, the Centre for Science and Environment said there are 16 deaths and 58 road accidents every hour in India.