Thursday, February 19, 2009

Perhaps it's time to do things differently

In one of our Poltitical Science classes, we studied several theories on the origin and necessity of law. I think it was Thomas Aquinas who opined that this world did not really need laws or rules...that the conscience unaided would arrive at a set of guidelines for right and wrong.

In the papers today, there was an article of a man who had bled to death near Gamdevi temple at Bhulabhai Desai road. A car had hit him and sped off and none of the other cars stopped to take him to the hospital. The man died.

The bystanders had noted down the car number and also tried to flag down a car, but to no avail. They helped the police nab the driver, who was a 19 year old boy.

I wonder if there was any way in which all the other cars, the ones that did not stop, can be impounded. I wonder if drivers of those vehicles can also be held to be culpable in this death. I don't see why not.

I take down the number of the car that hit me. This guy caused the accident. Unarguably guilty. While I am on the road bleeding, I ask a car to stop and help me to the nearest hospital. It doesn't. I note that number down too. (I know, this is a difficult situation to hypothesize, but I am postulating for the sake of argument.) I pass on both these numbers to the police. The police should take cognizance of the second number as well. I know it does not neatly fall under the abetment category, but there must be some other provision under the IPC - criminal negligence or something - under which these people can and should be booked.

The conscience unaided will accomplish nothing. Conscience bled to its death a long time ago.


omnithere said...

i agree.

Aries said...

I don't agree. A friend's friend had the unpleasant experience of stopping to help someone who was hit. There were no bystanders. And the cops, for want of any other evidence, thought he'd himself done it. He finally got a clean chit, but I don't see him stopping anytime soon in a similar situation...he'd probably just freak out and floor the accelerator the next time.

I don't categorize that as culpable homicide.