Verdict in BMW hit-and-run case to be pronounced today

September 2nd, 2008 - 11:09 am ICT by ANI  

New Delhi, Sep 2 (ANI): A Delhi court on Tuesday may pronounce its verdict in BMW hit-and-run case, in which six persons, including three constables, were killed in 1999.
Earlier on August 26, Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Kumar had reserved his verdict after hearing the final arguments from the prosecution and the defence prosecutors.
The ten-year-old case involving Sanjeev Nanda, son of arms dealer Suresh Nanda and grandson of former Navy chief S.M. Nanda, is accused of mowing down seven people with his high speeding BMW car in the wee hours of January 10, 1999 in Lodhi Colony area. Six persons died on the spot while one survived.
Nanda and co-accused Manik Kapoor, a leading exporter, have been tried under various provisions of the IPC including section 304 part-I (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), prescribing ten years” jail term as maximum punishment.
Another co-accused, Sidhartha Gupta, son of head of General Motor Finance Rajiv Gupta, accused by the police of being present in the car at the time of the accident, was later discharged by the Delhi High Court.
Gupta and his father along with their two servants, Bhola Nath and Shyam, were accused under section 201 (causing disappearance of evidence) of the IPC for allegedly washing away the blood stains and flesh pieces from the offending car at a house in Golf Links area here.
The prosecution in the case is largely dependent on a controversial witness Sunil Kulkarni. He is the only witness so far to have identified Nanda in the court as one of the occupants of a “black car” that allegedly mowed down seven people. He has, however, only confirmed his presence in the car and not on the driving seat.
Interestingly, the prosecution had dropped this witness earlier on finding him “unreliable”. He was re-called by court in March 2007. According to Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Kumar, “there was no evidence against Nanda until Kulkarni deposed”.
He is also the man behind the sting expose operation carried out by a private TV channel, which showed nexus between defence, prosecution lawyers and the witness.
On August 21, the Delhi High Court had held the two leading advocates RK Anand and IU Khan guilty in the case and barred the duo from appearing in all Delhi courts for four months besides stripping their designation as senior advocates while imposing Rs 2,000 as fine on them.
The other two witnesses, a survivor of the accident, Manoj Malik, and a petrol pump employee were declared hostile. Malik’’s testimony had been a major shock for the prosecution. He had told the court that it was “a truck-like” vehicle that had hit him on the fateful night.
Petrol pump employee Harishankar was one of the first persons to reach the spot and also to inform the police. He too was declared a hostile witness after he told the court that he did not see anything.
The prosecution also has a few forensic evidences like Nanda’’s blood samples and a video of the car involved in the accident. It has also been able to prove that the car belonged to Nanda. (ANI)

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