Existing law not enough to check drunken driving: Delhi HC

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

"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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