‘Kid crossed road alone’: HC frees cabbie in accident case | Mumbai News


MUMBAI: Observing that it was not safe for an eight-year-old boy to cross a busy road unaccompanied by his parents and the possibility of him being negligent cannot be ruled out, a magistrate‘s court acquitted a 45-year-old taxi driver accused of ramming into the child at Malabar Hill in 2019, leaving him with a fractured leg.
The boy had deposed in the court and identified the driver.
The accused was booked on charges of rash and negligent driving and causing grievous hurt.
“It is a two-way road and has running traffic… Care should be taken by parents while sending a boy of seven-eight years old alone on the road. Because it is doubtful whether Master Rohan (the child) understands traffic rules or not. Therefore, the possibility of negligence by a boy while crossing the road cannot be ruled out, because witnesses deposed that he does not understand direction,” said metropolitan magistrate Nadeem A Patel.
Finding the accused, Mohammed Ansari, not guilty, the magistrate further said that the child who was on his way home after playing at Girgaon Chowpatty, could not even depose about the situation on the road.
“Therefore, in the absence of the situation on the road and details about the traffic, it cannot be said that the accused was driving the vehicle in a rash and negligent manner. Thus, in my view, there is enough doubt in the story of the prosecution and the accused is entitled to benefit of doubt,” the magistrate said.
The magistrate further said though it was claimed by the prosecution that the child had identified the accused in court, in his cross-examination by the defence lawyer, he specifically admitted that the police had shown the taxi driver to him.
“Even in examination-in-chief, he specifically deposed that after the accident, the taxi driver fled. It means that Master Rohan had not seen the accused at the time of the accident on the spot. But the driver was subsequently shown to him. Therefore, there is a serious question of identification, none of the other witnesses were present at the spot. Therefore, identification of the accused is in doubt and on this sole ground the accused is entitled to acquittal,” the magistrate said.
The child’s mother – one of the four witnesses who deposed before the court – though had said that the taxi driver did not flee. In fact, the driver visited the hospital to check on Rohan while he was admitted for two months.
Rohan’s mother said on February 4, 2019, Rohan had gone out to play without informing her. When she could not find him, she went to a police chowky. She was told he would come back and so she returned home.
Later that day she received a phone call from the police, who told her that Rohan had met with a road accident and had been admitted to Nair hospital. She went to the police station and then to the hospital. She was told Rohan had sustained an injury to his leg.
Rohan told his mother that while he was crossing the road near Kamla Nehru Park, a taxi driver driving at a high speed dashed into him, causing his injury.


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