Additional Sessions Judge Manoj Jain made the observation while hearing an appeal filed by 25-year-old Hemant Sharma against four days' imprisonment awarded to him by a magisterial court for driving auto-rickshaw in drunken state.
    
"Undoubtedly, menace of drunken driving has taken an alarming proportion and it has to be dealt with stern hand," the judge said.
    
The sessions court said the sentence awarded by the trial court was "not harsh", yet it modified the jail term to till rising of the court (TRC) on the ground that he was young and had voluntarily pleaded guilty before the court.

"...though it is felt that sentence meted out to convict is not harsh yet keeping in mind said two factors, no real purpose would be served by sending him to jail where there is a chance of his coming in association with hardened criminals.

Instead, he is ordered to be sentenced till rising of court," it said. The court also noted that alcohol content in Sharma's body was found to be nearly seven times more than the permissible limit and being an auto-rickshaw driver he had put lives of not just people on the road but his passengers too.

"Accused was not driving any private vehicle. He was rather driving auto-rickshaw which is meant for ferrying passengers. Thus, he was least concerned about safety of users of the road and eventual passengers who would have hired his auto..." it said.
    
According to the prosecution, on October 19, 2014, Sharma was found driving driving a TSR without any valid driving licence, registration certificate, fitness certificate, permit and insurance.
    
Simultaneously, when breath analyser test was conducted, the alcohol content in his blood-stream was found to be 215.1 mg/100 ml against the permissible limit of 30 mg/100 ml.
    
Before the trial court, however, he voluntarily pleaded guilty to all the offences and was awarded four days jail term by a metropolitan magistrate.

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