The Bombay high court on Friday admitted an appeal filed by Nooriya Haveliwala challenging the five-year prison term handed down to her for killing two persons while driving under the influence of alcohol in January 2011.
A single judge bench of justice Abhay Thipsay admitted the appeal and posted her application for hearing on December 3 after her counsel Abad Ponda informed the court that she had deposited the fine – about Rs.5.25 lakh – imposed by the trial court.
On November 1, a sessions court convicted the NRI hairstylist for culpable homicide not amounting to murder for killing two persons — a police sub-inspector attached to the traffic division of the Mumbai police and a motorcyclist — while speeding under the influence of alcohol on a deserted road at Marine Lines.
Four police constables were also injured in the incident that took place in early hours of on January 30, 2011. The trial court had handed down her sentence of five years’ rigorous imprisonment.
She challenged the conviction and the five-year jail term on various grounds and has also sought bail during pendency of the appeal comparing her case with that of the BMW hit-and-run case of Delhi’s Sanjeev Nanda, who had allegedly killed six people while driving in an inebriated condition in January 1999.
She contended that the Supreme Court had reduced the five-year prison term handed down by a trial court to Nanda to two years of community service, failing which he would have to serve a year in jail.
According to the bail plea, Nanda had fled from the spot after the incident while Nooriya did not.
In her appeal, she contended that prosecution failed to establish the case against her beyond reasonable doubt by failing to examine crucial witnesses.
It said the taxi driver, whose vehicle Nooriya allegedly hit first, was not examined, and that her Honda CRV crashed into the taxi as the driver wanted to take a U–turn and suddenly came in her path.