Existing law not enough to check drunken driving: Delhi HC
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Last Updated: Monday, July 20, 2009, 22:41
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court, while reducing the punishment of Sanjeev Nanda from five to two years in BMW hit-and-run case said existing laws relating to drunken driving are inadequate to effectively deal with alcohol-impaired drivers and suggested new legal provisions.

"The punishment for drunken driving is a meagre Rs 950, which is sufficient to get an offender out on bail even if he has fatally knocked down or crippled someone....," said Justice Kailash Gambhir in a judgement.

The Court, however, modified the charge and convicted Nanda under a mild penal provision (rash and negligent act) of IPC in which maximum sentence is upto two-year jail term.

"...There is an urgent need for the state to bring suitable legislation so as to make drunken driving more stringent offence," said Justice Gambhir.

After examining the medical record of Nanda to find out whether he was drunk and driving the BMW at the time of the incident, the Court said "I am of the view that the presence of 0.115 percent of alcohol is in any case much above the limit of 30mg prescribed under the Motor Vehicle Act".

"It certainly must have affected his ability to drive the vehicle in a safe manner. Otherwise, a mishap of such a magnitude could not have taken place," the court said and upheld the trial court's conviction against Nanda for killing six people under the wheels of his BMW car in January 1999.

Bureau Report

First Published: Monday, July 20, 2009, 22:41

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