BMW hit-and-run-case : Sentence reserved till Sep 5

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New Delhi, Sep 3 (UNI) A city court today reserved till September 5 its order of pronouncing the sentence in BMW hit-and-run case in which it had convicted four people, including Sanjeev Nanda, grandson of ex-naval chief S M Nanda.

The public prosecutor appearing before Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Kumar argued that this is not the matter of negligent driving or general case of death of six people and filed various judgements of Supreme Court and High Court that stringent punishment should be given to all the four convicts including Sanjeev Nanda because ''in this serious matter no lenient view should be taken against the accused.'' Defence Counsel Ramesh Gupta argued that Nanda and others were convicted yesterday due to media interference and arguments made by the defence before the court had not been taken in judicial order of conviction.

Nanda belongs to a respected family and compensation of Rs 10 lakh had been given to the families of victims.

Two affidavits also have been filed before the court, one of them by Mr Arun Kapoor, the chairman of Ritinjali , an NGO working in the field of education and community development at Tihar Jail.

He said in his affidavit that he came in touch with Sanjeev Nanda during his custody in Tihar in 1999. According to him, Nanda is a man of good character and dedicated to various social activities.

Sanjeev was found guilty under section 304(Part II) of the IPC.

Six people, including three policemen, were crushed to death by a BMW car, allegedly driven by Sanjeev, in Lodhi Colony area in the early hours of January 10, 1999.

According to the prosecution, Sanjeev, the prime accused in the case, was driving the BMW car in a drunken state and ran over six people -- Mehandi Hassan, Gulab, Nasir and three policemen Rajan Kumar, Ramraj and Teru Lal.

The car was then driven to one Siddharth Gupta's house in Golf Links area in a warehouse, where Siddharth's father, Rajeev Gupta, instructed the watchman, Bhola Nath and driver Shayam Singh to clean the bumpers and bonnet of the car off blood and vestiges of the victims. Subsequently, the police charged these people with destroying the evidence.

Sunil Kulkarni, a Mumbai-based trader, had been cited as the eyewitness, who had gone to the police five days after the incident and got his statement recorded.

Of the listed 66 witnesses, some, including the lone survivor, had turned hostile during the trial.

Manoj Malik, the lone survivor, had turned hostile during the trial, saying the offending vehicle was a truck.

The Judge, after hearing arguments of both the prosecution and the defence, convicted Rajeev Gupta, Bhola Nath and Shayam Singh under Section 201(destruction of evidence) of the IPC. The court, however, acquitted Manik Kapoor, who was also in the car at the time of the incident, for lack of evidence.

UNI XC ARB RP AS1813

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