Zainakote accident: Army driver gets bail

Though offence is non-bailable, accused is innocent till proven guilty: Court

A local court on Monday granted bail to the Army driver booked by police for causing death to 7 people at Zainkote HMT here due to alleged rash and negligent driving last week.
Chief Judicial Magistrate Srinagar, Virender Singh Bhou, admitted to bail Hawaldar Krishan Kumar against a bail bond of Rs 20,000 with certain conditions.
The court asked the commanding officer of the unit of the accused to produce the accused before the IO if and when required saying he shall not leave the territorial jurisdiction of the court without prior permission.
Police station Parimpora on July 16 had registered a case (FIR 139/2014) against the accused under section 304 A (death caused by rash and negligent driving) of RPC as also under other criminal sections.
“Though the offence alleged to have been committed by the accused is non-bailable in nature but the same is not punishable exclusively with life imprisonment, as such the accused is presumed to be innocent till guilt is proved against him,” the court stated in its order.
Observing that the accused is in custody since July 16 and mitigating and extenuating circumstances lean in his favour, the court said no useful purpose would be served by keeping the accused in police custody. “Prima facie the accused has made out a ground for his admission on bail. Further the attending circumstances shrouding the occurrence cannot be disbelieved in totality,” the court said.
The court said there is nothing on record to suggest that the accused is so influential to win over the witnesses and that his involvement in similar other offences has been pointed out.
“Liberty of the accused cannot be curtailed on flimsy grounds, and court cannot discuss merits of the case in detail and has to confine itself within the parameters drawn by the Supreme Court and High Courts while entertaining bail plea to the accused,” the court said.
On July 16, seven people, including a pregnant woman, were killed when an army vehicle rammed into a Tavera on the Srinagar-Baramulla highway, triggering massive protests and clashes between youth and police near the accident spot.

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