NEW DELHI: A man sentenced to three days in jail for drunken driving has been ordered by a Delhi court to instead perform community service at a local temple once a week for two months, saying that a prison term will be an “indelible blot” on his career.
The additional sessions judge, Mr Virendra Bhat ordered 45-year-old Mahesh Kumar, father of four minor children, to perform community service after being convicted for traffic law violation, observing that sentences are aimed at reforming a person while jailing a first time offender often turns them into a hard core criminal.
“The purpose of sentence is and should be to reform a criminal so as to convert him into a law abiding citizen. It is seen that the sentence of imprisonment, sometimes hardens the first time offender and instead of reforming him, makes him a hardened criminal,” Mr Bhat said, asking Kumar to perform community service at Sai Baba temple for seven hours every Thursday for two months. The sessions court gave its order while setting aside March 21 order of a magisterial court, which had sentenced Kumar to three days in jail for riding a two-wheeler in an inebriated state.
The ASJ said the jail term will harm Kumar’s career and he has a wife and four children to take care of.
“It is to be noted that the appellant has already lost his right to drive as his driving licence stands cancelled. He is married and having four minor children and is in a private service and imprisonment at this stage would put an indelible blot on his future career,” said Mr Bhat.
“He shall file a certificate in this regard from the managing committee of the temple after completion of two month period,” he added.
Caught driving in an inebriated condition, Uttam Nagar resident Kumar was found having an 474 mg/100 ml alcohol content in his blood while the maximum permissible limit is 30 mg/100 ml.
The court said, “The alcohol content in his blood was found to be only a shade below the maximum limit of the breath analyzer which is up to 500 ml/100 ml. These are the mitigating factors in favour of the appellant (Kumar).”
Kumar was working in a TV shop and his counsel submitted he has learnt a lesson from the prosecution and during the trial vowed not to repeat the offence again.
“A drunk driver is a threat to all the road users. He poses a great risk not only to his own life but to those of others who are on the road along with him,” the court said.