Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Sanjeev Nanda found guilty in the BMW case

The year was 1999, with the month being January. The Nandan clan was a well known clan, with the senior, the grandfather being a former naval chief of India, S M Nanda; the father was a very rich arms dealer, Suresh Nanda. With such a household, and with plenty of riches, getting a BMW car for the son Sanjeev Nanda (19 years old at that time) was not something that was seen as difficult, and the son used to drive it. And it was driving it that he ended the lives of 6 innocent people, and caused his and other's family untold grief.
This is a case that shows how the delays of the Indian judicial system have a way of subverting any case. The decision was by the trial court (the lowest such court) and that too 9 years after the incident. Give a rich family like this enough time, and it is a wonder that the case still reached a conclusion where Sanjeev Nanda was found guilty. Witnesses were got after and they consequently changed their testimony, even the prosecuting attorney (and a very respected one) colluded with the defense to try and get a witness to change his testimony.
And yet today, wonders of wonders, he was judged guilty and his term in prison will be set tomorrow

NEW DELHI: A trial court on Tuesday deferred the sentencing of convict Sanjeev Nanda in the BMW hit-and-run case to September 5. Sanjeev, grandson of former Naval chief S M Nanda, was found guilty of committing manslaughter or ‘‘culpable homicide not amounting to murder’’. Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Kumar held that the vehicle that killed those six people early one morning in January 1999 was a BMW car and not a truck, as claimed by the defence, and that Nanda was behind the wheel, inebriated, when he dragged three of them under the bonnet of his car.
Nanda, who had already spent nine months in detention, has been convicted under Section 304(II) IPC which has a maximum penalty of 10 years’ jail.

This is a stiff conviction, that is no doubt true, and the fact remains that he will have to spend some time in jail. This was an important case, and the fact that all the efforts of the defense to try to subvert the case came to nought in this case.

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posted by Ashish Agarwal @ 10:58 AM