Need to amend law against drunken driving: Lawyers

September 2nd, 2008 - 11:38 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 2 (IANS) Lawyers have demanded an amendment in the law to nail culprits in cases of drunken driving after Tuesday’s landmark judgement in the nine-year-old BMW hit-and-run case. “There is an urgent need to amend section 304 (A) (causing death by negligence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) as it was last amended when it was made in 1861,” said Naveen Matta, a lawyer.

He added that this section was prepared at a time when there were very few vehicles and thus very few cases of road accidents.

Section 304 (A) offers a maximum punishment of two years of rigorous imprisonment along with a fine.

A strong punishment for Sanjeev Nanda, found guilty in the BMW hit-and-run case, would serve as a strong deterrent against drunk drivers who are responsible for a large number of deaths in India, believes the legal community.

Nanda was found guilty of mowing down six people, including three policemen, in the wee hours of Jan 10, 1999 in the Lodhi Colony in south Delhi. The quantum of punishment would be decided Wednesday.

“I welcome this judgement but there is also a need to reform our judicial system as it takes more time to come to conclusion,” said senior Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan.

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