Sanjeev Nanda guilty of killing six under BMW, sentencing Wednesday (Second Lead)

September 2nd, 2008 - 3:38 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 2 (IANS) A Delhi court Tuesday held Sanjeev Nanda, son of arms dealer Suresh Nanda and grandson of former navy chief S.M. Nanda, guilty of mowing down six people under his BMW on Jan 10, 1999 while acquitting his friend Manik Kapoor who was sitting next to him. The quantum of sentencing in what is a landmark judgment will be announced Wednesday.

Sanjeev Nanda, who was drunk at the time of the accident that took place in south Delhi’s Lodhi Colony in the early hours of the morning, was held guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder by Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Kumar.

The maximum imprisonment for the crime under Section 304 (2) of the Indian Penal Code is 10 years.

This is one of the first instances that a court has convicted the accused in a hit and run case under Section 304 (2). In most cases, the conviction is under Section 304 (1) - causing death by rash and negligent act - in which the maximum sentence is two years.

The other accused in the case, businessman Rajiv Gupta - whose son Siddharth was also in the car but was acquitted in August 1999 - and his two domestic helps Bhola Nath and Sham Singh were held guilty of destroying evidence.

The quantum of sentencing will be decided Wednesday after hearing arguments from the prosecution and defence.

According to the prosecution, Nanda ran over six people, including three policemen, that fateful night. During the arguments, the prosecution proved that Nanda was in an inebriated state at the time of the accident.

Those killed in the accident were Mehdi Hasan, Nazir and Ghulam and three constables Rajan Kumar, Ram Raj and Perulal.

There were three people in the car at the time - Sanjeev Nanda, Manik Kapoor and Siddharth Gupta. After the accident, they fled from the scene and reached the Gupta residence in Golf Links where Rajiv Gupta and his domestic helps washed off the stains.

The day after, on Jan 11, police arrested all six. While the three in the car were charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder, the three who helped wash the car were accused of destroying evidence.

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