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Judge who was lenient on killer driver quits
May 05, 2007 19:25 IST
Mumbai sessions court judge Ajit Mishra, who gave a controversial judgment in the Alister Pereira road killings case, on Saturday resigned, just days after the Bombay high court pulled up the prosecution and the trial court for allowing the businessman to get away with a light punishment.
Additional Sessions Judge Ajit Mishra's action came just less than a month after he sentenced Pereira to six months imprisonment in the hit and run case in which seven labourers were killed.
Bombay high court sources said Mishra, however, did not give any reasons for his resignation.
The high court had made stinging observations over the pathetic probe and the manner in which the trial was conducted while taking suo motu cognisance of the lapses in prosecution following an outcry over the verdict.
Seven labourers were killed when the Toyota Corolla driven by Pereira (22) ran over them after swerving into a pavement in suburban Bandra in November.
While hearing the case suo motu on May 3, the high court judges had remarked that no concession can be made to the state for such insensitivity in a case where seven people lost their lives.
The state government has also appealed against the trial court verdict.
The court had first reprimanded the prosecution and the trial court when the case came up before it last month.
Also, the police commissioner has been asked to look into entire investigation and prosecution of the Pereira case.
Pereira had been convicted for six months and ordered to pay a fine of Rs 5 lakh after he was found guilty u/s 304 A (death due to negligence not amounting to culpable homicide) and 337 (causing injury) of the IPC.
The trial was completed in a span of six days.
The lower court had not convicted Pereira under stringent sections of IPC applied on him by the police since it felt there was insufficient evidence.
Mishra, while pronouncing the judgment, severely criticised the police for its "casual approach to the investigations".
The lower court had also pulled up the investigating officers and said, "They do not seem to know how to investigate matters or produce evidence before the court."