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BMW Hit-and-Run Case
Nanda’s jail term cut to 2 years
n Sanjeev Nanda has already spent about 19 months in jail after his arrest in 1999. Now, he would have to serve out the remaining five months in the light of Monday’s verdict
n Arms dealer Suresh Nanda, father of the convict, welcomed the verdict, stating that justice had been done to his son n Delhi Police, however, said it would appeal against the reduction in the sentence
R Sedhuraman
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, July 20
Delhi High Court today reduced the sentence awarded to Sanjeev Nanda, convicted for mowing down six persons with his BMW car 10 years ago, from five years to two years.

Setting aside the trial court's conviction of Sanjeev, grandson of former Naval Chief SM Nanda, under Section 304 (part two) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) relating to culpable homicide not amounting to murder, Justice Kailash Gambhir held him guilty under Section 304A (causing death by rash and negligent act).

Section 304 (part two) provides for a punishment up to 10 years' imprisonment, while Section 304A carries a maximum punishment of two years.

Sanjeev has already spent about 19 months in jail after his arrest in 1999 and his conviction by the trial court last year. Now, he would have to serve out the remaining five months in the light of today’s verdict.

Arms dealer Suresh Nanda, father of the convict, welcomed the verdict, stating that justice had been done to his son. Delhi Police, however, said it would appeal against the reduction in the sentence.

The HC ordered prosecution of controversial witness Sunil Kulkarni for misleading the court by giving false testimony.

The court also reduced to half the quantum of sentence awarded to three others in the case. They are businessmen Rajeev Gupta (six months instead of one year) and his two employees, Bhola Nath and Shyam Singh (reduced to three months from six months). They were convicted for destruction of evidence.

The court said it was taking a lenient view on Sanjeev as he had already undergone trauma and agony and faced trial for nine years that affected his education, career and marriage.

However, it refused his plea for acquittal in view of adequate compensation paid to the victims. If he was really compassionate, he should not have fled the scene of accident, the court felt.

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