Supreme Court of India
Sagar Lolienkar vs The State Of Goa on 18 November, 2021Author: Ajay Rastogi
Bench: Ajay Rastogi, Abhay S. Oka
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO(S). 1415 OF 2021
(Arising out of SLP(Crl.) No(s). 931 of 2021)
SAGAR LOLIENKAR ….APPELLANT(S)
THE STATE OF GOA & ANR. …RESPONDENT(S)
1. Leave granted.
2. Heard Mr. Pallav Mongia, learned counsel for the appellant
and Ms. Ruchira Gupta, learned counsel for the respondents.
3. The appellant has assailed the judgment and order dated 7 th
December, 2020 upholding his conviction for offences under
Sections 279, 304A of Indian Penal Code(IPC) and under Section
Signature Not Verified
Digitally signed by
3 read with Section 181 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (MV Act)
and sentencing him with simple imprisonment of two months and
fine of Rs. 1,000/ for the offence under Section 279 IPC; simple
imprisonment for two years and fine of Rs. 10,000/ for the
offence under Section 304A IPC; and to pay fine of Rs. 500/ or
in default to undergo simple imprisonment of 10 days for the
offence under Section 3 read with Section 181 of the MV Act.
Indisputedly, the appellant has undergone more than 7 months of
4. The case of the prosecution is that the appellant on 13 th
February, 2013 at 1745 hrs while proceeding from Tilamol side to
Zambaulim, which is a public way, drove his WagonR bearing
registration no. GA09A6921 in a rash and negligent manner and
committed a culpable homicide not amounting to murder, by
causing the death of Manohar Shetkar. It was also the case of
prosecution that the accused was driving the offending vehicle
rashly and negligently without holding an effective driving licence
issued by the competent authority and, therefore, committed an
offence under Sections 279, 304(II) IPC and Sections 3, 181 and
185 of the MV Act.
5. The prosecution in all examined seven witnesses including
the investigating officer. Thereafter, the statement of the appellant
was recorded under Section 313 of Code of Criminal Procedure.
Despite the opportunity, the accused neither examined himself nor
led any evidence in support of his defence.
6. The learned trial Judge, by its judgment and order dated 30 th
September, 2014 held him guilty and convicted and sentenced him
for the aforestated offences. The appeal preferred by the appellant
came to be dismissed by the High Court of Bombay at Goa by
judgment impugned dated 7th December, 2020.
7. Learned counsel for the appellant has tried to persuade this
Court that the evidence on record does not justify any conviction
or sentencing and further submits that the ocular evidence is not
at all reliable and the documentary evidence to a great extent
supports the defence raised by the appellant.
8. Learned counsel further submits that there is some
unreliable evidence suggesting that the offending vehicle was
driven at “high speed” but such evidence is not at all sufficient to
establish either rashness or negligence, which are essential
ingredients to have a conviction under Sections 279 or 304A of
IPC and based on such vague testimony, the conviction as
recorded is quite unsustainable.
9. Learned counsel further submits that as a matter of record,
the appellant was holding a learner’s licence to drive the motor
vehicle on the alleged date of incident dated 13 th February, 2013
and was accompanied by his wife(PW 5) who was sitting beside
him and was the holder of a permanent licence to drive the motor
vehicle and submits that the evidence was, therefore, required to
be accepted in its totality. Learned counsel submits that wife of
the appellant has deposed that the scooter was overtaking a
parked truck and collided headon with the WagonR driven by the
appellant but such evidence was unduly rejected by the learned
Sessions Court and further submits that the appellant only has to
probabalise his defence and there is no requirement of establishing
such defence beyond a reasonable doubt. In the given
circumstances, the conviction which has been upheld by the High
Court in the impugned judgment is not sustainable and deserves
to be interfered by this Court.
10. Per contra, learned counsel for the respondentState has
supported the order of conviction passed by the High Court.
However, the learned counsel did not seriously dispute the
submissions of the learned counsel for the appellant relating to the
reduction of sentence.
11. Under the directions of this Court, by an Order dated 5 th
April, 2021, the widow of the deceased was impleaded as
respondent no. 2 to whom notice has been duly served but no one
has put in appearance despite service. Further, in compliance of
Order of this Court, the compensation amount of Rs. 3 lakhs has
been deposited by the appellant in the Registry of this Court.
12. After going through the judgment and order passed by the
High Court as well as the Courts below, we are of the considered
opinion that the wellreasoned order of conviction passed by the
High Court for the offences under Sections 279 and 304A IPC
needs no interference of this Court.
13. However, it has come on record that the appellant has been
appointed as a Peon on temporary basis in the Directorate of
Women & Child Development, Goa under the “Scheme for
providing employment in Government to the Children of Freedom
Fighters” by an Order dated 4th May, 2017 and has been blessed
with the girl child on 19th February, 2018.
14. In the instant case, the appellant has been found to be guilty
of offences punishable under Sections 279 and 304A IPC for
driving rashly and negligently on a public street and his act
unfortunately resulted in the loss of the precious human life. But
it is pertinent to note that there was no allegation against the
appellant that at the time of accident, he was under the influence
of liquor or any other substance impairing his driving skills. It was
a rash and negligent act simplicitor and not a case of driving in an
inebriated condition which is, undoubtedly despicable aggravated
offence warranting stricter and harsher punishment.
15. Having regard to all these factors and bearing in mind the
fact that the widow of the victim has not come forward despite
notice being served and the compensation of Rs. 3 lakhs has been
deposited by the appellant, we are of the view that a lenient view
can be taken in the matter and the sentence of imprisonment can
16. Accordingly, the conviction of the appellant under Sections
279 and 304A IPC is maintained. However, the substantive
sentence of imprisonment is reduced to the period already
undergone. Imposition of fine is also affirmed. Besides the fine,
an amount of Rs. 3 lakhs which has been deposited by the
appellant by way of compensation in the Registry of this Court be
transferred to the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, South Goa,
Margao in Claim Petition No. 84/2013 which shall be released by
the Tribunal to the widow of the deceased Smt. Reshma Manohar
17. The appeal is disposed of accordingly. The bail bonds of the
appellant, if any, stand discharged.
18. Pending application(s), if any, stand disposed of.
(ABHAY S. OKA)
NOVEMBER 18, 2021