Dr Naveen Kumar, assistant professor of surgery at the Palakkad Government Medical College, his wife, Dr. Jayashree and their four year old son met with an accident at the Chakkanthara road in Palakkad.
CCTV footage of the accident shows a car coming from the other side hitting the bike, throwing all three riders to the ground. Dr. Naveen died of head injury while his wife Jayashree has sustained rib and pelvic fracture.
A 17 year old minor was at the wheel of the car. He had rented the car and did not possess a license. The police have confirmed this fact and the driver of the car, being a minor, could not be arrested. However, the police have filed a case against the man who rented the car to the minor.
This is a very tragic case, but a fine example of how rules are flouted in our country. The motorcycle rider was riding with his wife and child, without proper safety gear or helmet. He then decides to overtake a car in his lane and ends up colliding with a car coming from the opposite side. The driver of this car is a minor, and does not have a valid driving license. He is driving a rented car. How did the minor managed to get behind the wheel of a rented car?
To make matters worse, the Doctor’s family cannot claim insurance from the company of the offending vehicle. The reason being, the driver of the vehicle is a minor. Insurance is only valid when the driver has a valid driver’s license.
304A of IPC states that causing death by negligence could land the offender in jail. However, being a minor, a maximum of 1 year in a Juvenile home is the most that can be meted out to the accused. In this case, he could be produced before the juvenile court and could get bail.
The insurance company stated that since the minor was not allowed to drive, the company is not liable to pay compensation. At the most, in this case the family of the deceased can claim compensation from the owner of the car but this would take a long time and involve a lengthy legal battle.