One of the 18 eyewitnesses — and the only one to do so — identified Alistair Pereira, the main accused in the November 12, 2006 Carter road accident case, in court on Wednesday. Nimbaji Ingle’s testimony came a day before Judge Ajit Mishra pronounces his verdict in the case on Thursday.
Pereira had been charged for culpable homicide not amounting to murder under section 304 (II) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) after his speeding Toyota Corolla allegedly rammed into shanties on Bandra’s Carter road footpath on the night of November 12, killing six contract labourers and injuring several others. If found guilty, the 21-year-old — currently out on bail — faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine.
Interestingly, even though the prosecution has examined 18 witnesses in the case, only Ingle, the watchman employed by the construction company to guard its material, could identify Pereira in court. Ingle told the court he was on duty on the night of November 12, 2006 and at around 3.30 am he saw a speeding car take a sharp turn at Carter road. The car then rammed into the temporary shanties built on the footpath, he said.
Ingle told the court he saw Pereira behind the steering wheel. He said he also saw three teenagers run away after the accident. Ingle informed the court that immediately after the accident, a police van came and arrested Pereira, whom he identified in court as the accused.
The prosecution on Wednesday also examined five other witnesses including a Regional Transport Office (RTO) inspector, who had examined the Toyota Corolla (MH01-R-580). During his testimony, the officer did not give any specific reason for any possible technical failure in the car that might have caused the accident.
The other witnesses included two paanchas who had done the spot panchnama, a doctor at the KB Bhabha hospital who had examined the injured persons and the investigating officer, Sunderanath Phool Sunder, in the case.
The fact track court will record Pereira’s statement on Thursday and hear the final arguments before pronouncing its verdict.