Delhi University student Suraj Sehrawat, 19, the main accused in the BMW hit-and-run case, may get away with a meagre fine amount of Rs 500 for not having a driving licence.
Thanks to weak laws in the country, most accused in accident cases get light punishment or are rarely punished.
At present, Sehrawat, the son of a rich transporter who owns a fleet of 1,000 cars, has been booked under Section 304A of the Indian Penal Code (negligent driving causing death) which has a maximum imprisonment provision of two years.
The Gurgaon BMW mishap that took place on May 5 left two people, including pregnant IBM executive Kshama Chopra, 35, and cab operator Sanjay Gulati, 42, dead. Chopra’s parents and husband were critically injured in the mishap — her mother is still in coma.
On May 18, the Gurgaon police gave the accused a 10-day notice to submit his driving licence but he failed to do so. The police now plan to book him for driving without a licence under the Motor Vehicles Act (MVA). The new charge will, however, not make much difference to the trial as the offence is compoundable and the accused can get away by paying a penalty of R500.
A person caught driving a motorised vehicle without a valid driving licence is issued a challan under Section 3/181 of MVA which has a penalty provision of R500.
The police might also issue a challan to Sehrawat’s parents (owners of the BMW) for allowing an unauthorised person without a licence to drive their vehicle under Section 5/181 of MVA.
In this case, the parents would be liable to pay a penalty of R1,000.
DCP (east) Maheshwar Dayal said, “One more charge under the MVA would be added if Sehrawat does not have a driving licence but this would not change the gravity of the offence as one can pay a penalty for it. The laws should be stricter in our country. We are only the enforcement agencies and simply implement the law.”
Vishal Gupta, counsel for the accused, claimed that parents of the accused were not liable to be booked under the IPC as the offence did not have any penal provisions.
According to police sources, Sehrawat had arranged for a fake driving licence during the notice period but refrained from submitting it in the fear to getting trapped in another case.