The Supreme Court on Friday upheld the conviction of Sanjeev Nanda in the 1999 BMW hit-and-run case and reduced the sentence of imprisonment to the one which he had undergone. It, however, directed him to do two years of community service.
However, in a departure from other criminal cases, a Bench of Justices Deepak Verma and K.S. Radhakrishnan held that Nanda, whose BMW ran over six persons, including three policemen in January, 1999, would have to deposit Rs. 50 lakh with the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. The Ministry was asked to create a fund so that the victims of similar hit-and-run cases could be provided adequate compensation.
The Bench criticised Nanda for being insensitive to those fatally injured in the accident.
The Judges described the haste in which he sped away from the spot as “reprehensible.” They said he was interested in his own safety, than saving the victims’ lives.
The Bench said the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment would decide in two months what kind of community service Nanda should perform. It, however, made it clear that if he failed to comply with the directions, he would have to undergo one year of simple imprisonment.
The trial court had convicted Nanda under Section 304-II of IPC (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and sentenced him to 5 years imprisonment. In July 2009, the Delhi High Court reduced his prison term from five to two years.
The court held him guilty only under IPC Section 304-A (causing death due to rash and negligent act).
Modifying this, the Bench upheld his conviction on the charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.