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Pereira guilty in hit-and-run case

Apr 13, 2007 02:35 PM IST India India
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New Delhi: Allister Pereira, the son of a Mumbai businessman who was charged with running his car over seven people sleeping on a Mumbai pavement in suburban Bandra last year, was held guilty for causing death not amounting to culpable homicide.

He has been sentenced to six months imprisonment and fined Rs 500,000.

A local court found there was sufficient evidence to find 21-year-old Pereira guilty under sections 304 (a) (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 337 (causing injury) of Indian Penal Code.

The court, however, criticised the police for its investigation which it said "was done casually".

The verdict comes as a mixed bag for Pereira, who was alleged to have been under the influence of alcohol when he ran over the pavement-dwellers. He was charged under sections 304 (a) (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), but was acquitted of the charges.

He has been held guilty under rash and negligent driving. He has also been found guilty under Section 337 - causing grievous injuries.

Prosecution had sought maximum punishment for Pereira but the presiding Judge said that due to the inefficiency of the prosecution, he could find no evidence to nail Pereira.

On November 12, 2006, Pereira lost control of his Toyota Corolla while returning from a party in Bandra and ran over seven people sleeping on a pavement near Carter Road Promenade. Eight others were injured in the incident.

He was allegedly to have been under the influence of alcohol at the time.

Allister Pereira: Charges and Punishment
bullet Acquited of 304 (2) culpable homicide not amounting to murder
bullet Guilty of 304 (a) non-culpable homicide
bullet Guilty of rash and negligent driving
bullet Guilty of 337 causing injury
Punishment update
bullet 6 months imprisonment for Section 304 (a)
bullet 15 days for Section 337
bullet Fine of Rs 5 lakh
bullet 4.5 lakh to be distributed to family of injured and dependants of deceased in the ratio of 2:1



The prosecution had sought maximum punishment for Pereira but the judge said that due to the inefficiency of the prosecution, he could find no evidence to nail Pereira.

"I tried to control the car by braking but it did not stop. After that I do not know what happened," Pereira told Additional Sessions Judge A Mishra.

Pereira also told the court that he did not know why the witnesses had spoken against him in the case.

He also denied all charges against him, including having driven under influence or that a bottle of alcohol had been recovered from his car after the accident.

Defence Counsel Manjula Rao had also said that the Khar police failed to submit crucial medical evidence gathered from testing Pareira's blood and urine samples to show if he was driving under the influence of alcohol - something which led to his acquittal.

There were also contradictory reports on the amount of alcohol in his body.

The photographs that had been submitted in court also lost their value, when the photographer who had taken them said that they were not the same pictures as the negatives that he had submitted.

Also the Road Transport Officer could not identify the photos as he said that he was "not wearing his spectacles".

How police botched up the case:
bullet The Khar police failed to submit crucial medical evidence gathered from testing his blood and urine samples.
bullet There were also contradictory reports on the amount of alcohol in his body.
bullet The photographs that had been submitted in court also lost their value, when the photographer who had taken them said that they were not the same pictures as the negatives that he had submitted.
bullet The Road Transport Officer could not identify the photos as he said that he was "not wearing his spectacles".


(With inputs from PTI)

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