Alistair Pereira, the 21-year-old who ran over seven labourers and injured eight others on Carter Road last November in his Toyota Corolla, was sentenced to six months’ simple imprisonment on Friday. He was also fined Rs 5 lakh for rash driving.
Sewri Sessions Judge Ajit Mishra pulled up the police for botching up the investigation. Saying that “a man may lie, but circumstances will not,” Judge Mishra accused the police of “failing to prove the circumstances, even though they relied on direct and circumstantial evidence”. He said the police had a “casual approach”.
The prosecution was hoping to find Pereira guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, the maximum sentence for which is 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment and a fine. Instead, Pereira was given a mere six months under Section 304 (A) (causing death by negligence) and 15 days’ simple imprisonment under Section 337 (causing hurt by an act endangering life or personal safety of others). The sentences will run concurrently. Pereira’s defence lawyer asked the court to grant them time to appeal to the high court. Judge Mishra granted them a month and extended Pereira’s bail.