Additional sessions judge, Sanjeev Kumar, while pronouncing the sentencing in the BMW hit and run case observed how the punishment for cattle-related crimes was more stringent than that for accident-related human deaths. But where did this come from? The judge made this statement while he was sentencing Utsav Bhasin, the driver of the BMW in a hit and run case. He was sentenced to 2 years in prison, and was asked to pay a fine of Rs 10 lakh for the family of the deceased, and Rs 2 lakh for the injured.
Back in 2008, the BMW hit and run case took place at Moolchand flyover, when Utsav Bhasin, who was driving a BMW 5 Series (E60), hit a bike that had two riding on it. Among the two, Anuj Chauhan died in a hospital while the other, Mrigank Srivastava survived the incident.
After crashing into the bike, Utsav fled and was later apprehended from ISBT while he was trying to flee to Chandigarh. The incident took place at Moolchand, in South Delhi. He was convicted under section 304A (causing death by rash and negligent act), 279 (driving rashly that could endanger human life) and 338 (causing grievous hurt).
He was however acquitted against the charges of 304, which is culpable homicide not amounting to murder due to lack of evidence.
The judge had the following observation to make while handing out the guilty sentence:
The sentence for killing cow is five, seven or 14 years in different states, but the sentence for causing the death of a human being through rash or negligent driving is only two years.
The court goes on to say that a copy of judgement should be sent to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, so he can consider steps to enhance the punishment for such rash-driving offences that come under the section 304A of the Indian Penal Code. This is the first time a judge has openly gone on to say that the punishment of endangering human life is much more lenient as that compared to any crime against cattle.
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