The Kherwadi police, on Tuesday, arrested Viral Goradiya, the 27-year-old NRI from New York who was involved in a drink driving accident in December that led to the death of Dhwani Chheda.
Goradiya, who was undergoing treatment at Lilavati Hospital, was discharged on Tuesday morning. Soon after, the Kherwadi police arrested him and produced him in the Bandra magistrate court where he was released on bail.
However, in previous cases such as the ones of Alistair Pereira and Nooria Haveliwala, the Mumbai police had booked the accused for culpable homicide not amounting to murder. While this provision of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) attracts a maximum punishment of life imprisonment on conviction, a person convicted of causing death due to negligence faces two years' imprisonment.
When questioned why Goradiya was not booked under section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), Awadhut Chawan, senior inspector of Kherwadi police, said: "Goradiya and Chheda were to get married very soon. He did not have the intention of killing her and hence we charged him for causing death due to negligence (Section 304A) and not Section 304."
Chawan said Goradiya had also been arrested under Section 279 (rash driving) and Section 185 of the Motor Vehicles Act (driving under the influence of alcohol). All the sections are bailable by the law.
Investigating officer sub-inspector Pravin Kharade explained that any person found driving with alcohol exceeding 30mg per 100ml of blood was booked under the Motor Vehicles Act. "Doctors at Bhabha hospital told us that Goradiya had consumed alcohol and that is why we booked him for drink driving."
On December 28, 2011, Goradiya and Chheda were out for a drive around 3.30am. An inebriated Goradiya drove the Honda City into a divider at Bandra. Chheda who was sitting in the passenger seat died before she could receive medical attention. The couple got engaged in April last year. Goradiya had come to the city for a vacation and was staying in his father's flat in Andheri (East).