A judge in Delhi, India sentenced the son of an industrialist to two years’ imprisonment on Saturday for mowing down a motorcyclist with his luxury BMW car in 2008, reported Hindustan Times.
The judge observed how present-day laws provide more strict and stringent punishment to perpetrators of cattle-related crimes than drivers who take human lives.
“The sentence for killing a cow is five, seven or 14 years in different states, but the sentence for causing the death of a human being through rash or negligent driving is only two years,” additional sessions judge Sanjeev Kumar said.
The court held the accused, 30-year-old Utsav Bhasin, guilty of rash driving, voluntary causing hurt on provocation and causing death by negligence. It also announced a Rs1 million compensation for the family of the victim, and Rs200,000 for the injured.
On the night of September 11, 2008, Bhasin – then a BBA student – had crushed Anuj Chauhan and his friend, Mrigank Srivastava, under his BMW car at Moolchand in South Delhi. While Chauhan died in a city hospital, Srivastava survived the accident. Bhasin was arrested from ISBT Kashmere Gate while he was fleeing to Chandigarh.
The court had passed the verdict in May, the punishment was only announced on Saturday. It also granted statutory bail to Bhasin, enabling him to file an appeal in the high court. The bail bond was fixed at Rs50,000 with a surety of a similar amount. Bhasin was earlier cleared of culpable homicide, which provides for a maximum jail term of up to 10 years.
The court also announced that a copy of the judgment must be sent to Indian PM Modi so he can consider steps to enhance the punishment prescribed for such offences under 304-A of the Indian Penal Code.
The judge also quoted a song from the movie Zindagi aur Toofan – which goes ‘Aadmi chahe toh taqdeer badal sakte hai, poori duniya ki woh tasveer badal sakte hai, aadmi soch toh le uska irada kya hai (Humankind can change its fate if it wants to, can change the entire picture of the world if it wants to, as long as there is a strong resolve to do so)’ in an attempt to emphasise the importance of his point.
The court noted that India has a “disreputable record of road accidents”, with 464,000 road accidents being reported in 2015 alone.