The Delhi Police on Tuesday failed to explain the delay in filing an appeal before the Supreme Court challenging the Delhi High Court verdict reducing jail term of Sanjeev Nanda in the 12-year-old hit-and-run case.
Nanda, grandson of former naval chief SM Nanda, was found guilty of mowing down six persons while driving a luxury car during early morning hours of January 10, 1999. On July 20, 2009 the HC, however, reduced the jail term from five to two years after holding that Nanda could not have had the knowledge that the tragedy could strike by his rash and negligent driving.
The trial court had convicted him under the stringent section of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
Though Delhi Police challenged the HC judgment, it did so 51 days after the limitation period to file the appeal lapsed. Nanda sought dismissal of police appeal on the ground of delay in filing it. This prompted the bench of Justices Deepak Verma and K Radhakrishnan to seek an explanation for the delay.
Justice Verma told additional solicitor general (ASG) Hiren Rawal that the bench wasn't satisfied with the reasons for delay cited in the police affidavit. In its submissions before the court, the police claimed though it had applied for a certified copy of the HC judgment to file an appeal before SC, the said application got misplaced. Therefore, a fresh application was filed after the senior police officials took the decision to challenge the HC verdict.
Justice Verma sought to know from Rawal what happened to the first application. To this the senior counsel said it was untraceable. "How could it be untraceable? If it was filed, it should have been with the HC office," the judge said.
The court adjourned the matter to Wednesday and said it would hear both sides at length.