Film director Kaizad Gustad was sentenced to one month’s imprisonment for causing the death of his assistant due to negligence.
In May 2004, Briton Nadia Khan (26) died on the tracks at Mahalaxmi railway station during the shooting of Gustad’s film Mumbai Central. Although Gustad was sentenced to a month’s imprisonment, he will not have to go to jail as he has already spent 40 days in custody.
“He will now have to pay a fine of Rs 75,000 to Khan’s family within three months,” said his lawyer Junaid Shawney. The conviction comes exactly six years after Khan’s death. Khan died on May 25, 2004.
Police had initially charged Gustad with culpable homicide not amounting to murder, which attracts 10 years in jail.
However, the sessions court, on January 15 last year, discharged Gustad from the charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
While booking Gustad for culpable homicide not amounting to murder, police had initially said he had known that anyone on a live track risked being hit by a train.
They had also said Gustad initially told them Khan had died in a road accident.
The sessions court had said culpable homicide not amounting to murder cannot be made out against him after witnesses said the shoot was on track number one and Khan had no reason to go to track four. Witnesses also said Khan had herself prepared the shoot call sheet.
The Mumbai Central Railway magistrate’s court tried Gustad for death due to negligence, false information with intent to cause public servant to use his lawful power to the injury of another person, causing disappearance of evidence, or giving false information to screen offender, intentional omission to give information of offence by person bound to inform, giving false information for an offence committed.
“The court convicted Gustad for death due to negligence and acquitted him of all other charges,” Shawney added. For lack of evidence and the prosecution’s failure to prove the case against them, the court acquitted five other accused who were booked with Gustad.