The Supreme Court on Wednesday acquitted three persons convicted and sentenced for tampering with evidence in the 1999 BMW hit-and-run case, involving Sanjeev Nanda, grandson of the former Navy chief, Admiral S. M. Nanda.

A Bench, comprising Justices Deepak Verma and K.S. Radhakrishnan, quashed the trial court orders — upheld by the Delhi High Court — which sentenced businessman Rajeev Gupta and his two employees Bhola Nath and Shyam Singh.

While Gupta was sentenced to six months imprisonment, his employees were sentenced to three months imprisonment.

The Bench reserved its judgment on an appeal from the State police that challenged the Delhi High Court verdict of reducing Sanjeev Nanda’s sentence from five years to two years imprisonment.

Nanda was driving a BMW car when it mowed down six people, including three policemen, on January 10, 1999. The High court modified the trial court order by holding him guilty under IPC Section 304 A (causing death due to rash and negligent act), but acquitted him of charges under Section IPC 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder). The Bench criticised the Delhi Police for not properly investigating the charge of tampering of evidence. It said, “The evidence in the case does not conclusively establish that they tampered with the evidence. No credible evidence was recorded by the prosecution to show who washed the car (immediately after the accident to remove blood stains)”.

The Bench also blamed the Delhi Police for not lifting fingerprints from the car to establish who tried to destroy the evidence.

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