Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Virender Bhat ordered city resident Pradeep to perform community service, sparing the 20-day jail term awarded to him by a magisterial court.
"Pradeep is unmarried having old aged parents to look after. He is of very young age and is in private job. Hence, the imprisonment at this stage would put an indelible blot on his future career and seriously affect his family," ASJ said.
The court released 24-year-old Pradeep on probation and asked him to do the social service at a Hanuman Mandir at Kashmiri Gate here every Tuesday for two months.
"The sentencing policy followed in India is based upon reformative theory and not on retributive theory. The purpose of sentence is and should be to reform a criminal so as to convert him into a law-abiding citizen....
"While dealing with petty cases such as the present one, wherever it is felt necessary, the principle contained in almost all the religious scriptures that 'forgiveness is the best punishment' should be invoked," the court said.
The court's order came on Pradeep's plea challenging the magistrate's September 4 order sentencing him to 20 days in jail for driving his motorcycle in an inebriated state.
The trial court had also imposed a fine of Rs 2,000 on him. Seeking relief, Pradeep's counsel had also told the court that he has learnt enough lesson from his prosecution and has vowed not to repeat his mistake again.
The sessions court showed leniency to the convict even while observing that the menace of drunken driving is on rise day by day.