A day after Sanjeev Nanda was held guilty in the 1999 hit-and-run case, the prosecution demanded a deterrent punishment for him, to send across a strong message to the society at large.
The defence counsel pleaded Nanda, who was just 19 at the time of the accident, had already spent 10 months in jail for the crime. Besides, the defence argued, he had spent his life’s prime facing trial.
After three hours of arguments, Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Kumar reserved the order on the sentence against Nanda and three other convicts for Friday.
Seeking a harsh sentence, Public Prosecutor Rajiv Mohan said, “Deterrent punishment is the need of the hour, so that a right message is sent across to all potential offenders.” He also argued that the sentence should send a message to all the rich people that they cannot get away with their crimes. He then referred to the court's adverse findings about Nanda in its judgment delivered on Tuesday. “According to the findings, the criminal justice system has been tampered with by the mighty accused, who resorted to every unfair means to botch up the trial,” Mohan said.
Nanda's counsel Ramesh Gupta, however, came down heavily on the media.
“Only convictions please them. It’s high time everybody sat up as justice is at stake,” he said, adding that the fact that Nanda was merely 19 years old at the time of the accident could not be ignored. He also highlighted the fact that, soon after the accident, the Nandas had paid a compensation of Rs 65 lakh to the families of the deceased.
Sanjeev Nanda’s counsel on Wednesday submitted an affidavit highlighting his contribution to Tihar Jail during his 10-month stay there. The affidavit, issued by an NGO working with the jail, states that Nanda taught English to several inmates and also helped in setting up computers in the jail.