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Sanjeev Nanda, grandson of former Naval Chief SM Nanda, had mowed down six people, including three policemen, with his BMW in 1999
New Delhi: Sanjeev Nanda, convicted in the BMW hit-and-run case, on Friday got a reprieve from the Supreme Court which refused to enhance the quantum of punishment of two years already undergone by him and directed him to do community service for two years, reports PTI.
Nanda, grandson of former Naval Chief SM Nanda, was ordered by the Court to pay a compensation of Rs50 lakh to the Centre which will be used for road accident victims.
34-year-old Nanda had mowed down six people, including three policemen, with his BMW in 1999.
A bench of justices Deepak Verma and KS Radhakrishnan partially set aside the Delhi High Court's order convicting Nanda under lenient provision of 304 A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for rash and negligent driving, but upheld the two year jail term that was awarded to him.
The apex court, however, convicted him under the stringent provision of 304 Part II (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of IPC, which prescribes maximum punishment of 10 years.
Flaying Nanda for running away after mowing down six people with his car on 10 January 1999, the bench said his conduct is "highly reprehensible".
The apex court directed Nanda to perform community service for two years and also asked him to pay Rs50 lakh to the Centre which will be used for compensating victims of road accidents in which erring drivers could not be traced.
The apex court passed the order on an appeal filed by the Delhi Police challenging the high court's order reducing the jail term to two years from the five years awarded by the trial court.
In separate judgements written by the judges, Justice Radhakrishnan was more critical of Nanda's conduct in the 13-year-old incident.
He said Nanda was driving the vehicle and he didn't stop after mowing down six people.
"Some mercy could have been shown to the victims," Justice Radhakrishnan said while pointing out that Nanda fled away from the spot leaving the victims to die.
Justice Radhakrishnan also made it clear that payment of compensation to victims' families by Nanda and his age of 21 years at the time of incident are not mitigating factors while deciding the case against him.
He also said that the high court was wrong in convicting Nanda under lenient provision of IPC and said that it would send a wrong message to the public.
The apex court had on August 1 acquitted the three persons sentenced to varying jail terms for tampering with evidence in the case.
The Delhi High Court had in July 2009 reduced Nanda's sentence from five to two years after holding that he could not have had the knowledge that a tragedy could strike by his rash and negligent driving.
The high court had modified the trial court's order by holding him guilty under Section 304-A (causing death due to rash and negligent act) and acquitting him of Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder).
It had also reduced by half the quantum of sentence given to three co-accused -- businessman Rajeev Gupta and his two employees Bhola Nath and Shyam Singh who were convicted for destruction of evidence in the case.
Gupta was sentenced to six months prison term, as against the one year awarded by the trial court, while his two employees were awarded three months jail term from their six months sentence.
The Supreme Court asked the police machinery to not only challan the offending vehicles but also to take measures to remove materials pasted on safety glasses
A bench of justices BS Chauhan and Swatanter Kumar asked the police machinery in the country to not only challan the offending vehicles but also to take forthwith measures to remove materials pasted on safety glasses by vehicle users.
"We are not emphasising on security threat to nation but it is a clear violation of law. No material can be pasted on safety glasses; this law needs to be enforced.
"DGPs/CPs to ensure complete compliance in true letter and substance. At this stage we will not initiate any action on the DGPs and other officials but issue a clear warning that in case of non-compliance the court shall be compelled to initiate appropriate action under the contempt of courts act without any notice," Justice Kumar said.
On 22nd July, the Supreme Court had expressed its dissatisfaction over tardy implementation of its directions banning the use of tint on car windows, beyond a permissible limit, in
The bench had said that the roads of the national Capital still had numerous cars with heavily tinted windows and windscreens and that the users or owners of such vehicles, often involved in accidents, go scot-free.
The court had also noted that most of these vehicles were being used by VIPs enjoying Z-category security.
The bench had observed that the VIPs, who were permitted to use tinted film on their vehicles but only as per due procedure, were exploiting the relaxation granted to them.
The apex court's observations came while hearing a batch of petitions filed by sun film manufacturers association and others seeking clarification as well as modification of the apex court's order banning the use of tinted glass on vehicle windowpanes.
Concerned over rising instances of criminals using black films on windscreens and side glasses of four wheelers, the apex court had directed the states and the Union territories to strictly enforce the ban on use of tint beyond the limit permitted.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice SH Kapadia had on 27th April said that manufacturers may produce vehicles with tinted glasses which provide for 70% visual light transmission (VLT) for safety glasses on front and rear windscreen and 40% VLT for side glasses.
The directions had come into effect and were enforceable from 4th May.
The apex court, however, at that time had given liberty to the police officers concerned to grant exemption to VVIPs like those enjoying "Z" and "Z plus" category security.
The court's verdict had come on a PIL filed by one Avisekh Goenka seeking total ban on all forms of tinted glasses used in four wheelers.
The court, while granting the exemption to VVIPs and others facing threat perceptions, had said, "The cases of the persons who have been provided with Z and Z+ security category may be considered by a committee consisting of the director general of police/commissioner of police of the concerned state and the home secretary of that state/Centre.
The bench had advised that "certificates should be provided only in relation to official cars of VIPs/VVIPs, depending upon the category of security that such person has been awarded by the competent authority."