- This article is related to the case of Akhtar Parwez vs The State Of West Bengal on 19 April 2021.
- The Supreme Court rejected the bail plea of the accused, Raghib, who was driving his car, Jaguar SUV at a high speed of 135 km/hour on 16th August 2019.
- The argument was that Raghib was of unsound mind and had suffered from Bipolar Affective Disorder
- Rich brats speeding around in their high-end vehicles couldn't ask for concessions.
On Monday, the Supreme Court denied a request for bail for Kolkata biryani baron Akhtar Parwez's son Raghib, who is accused of killing two Bangladeshi nationals while driving his Jaguar F-Pace at 130-135 kph on August 17, 2019. Parwez's lawyer, Kapil Sibal, told a bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Hemant Gupta that Raghib suffers from Bipolar Affective Disorder and needs heavy medication for the mental illness, that he had cooperated with the investigations leading to the filing of the charge sheet, and that sending him back to jail after a year of being held at home on interim bail would serve no purpose, particularly since he had cooperated with the investigations leading to the filing of the charge sheet.
Rash driving or riding on a public way is punishable under section 279 of the Indian Penal Code. Whoever drives or rides a vehicle on a public way recklessly or irresponsibly that endangers human life or is likely to cause harm or damage to another individual shall be punished with imprisonment of any description for a period up to six months, or a fine up to one thousand rupees, or both.
The Motor Vehicles Act of 1988, Section 119, states that it is the driver's responsibility to follow traffic signals.
(1) Every driver of a motor vehicle shall operate the vehicle in accordance with any indication provided by a mandatory traffic sign and the driving regulations promulgated by the Central Government, as well as all directions were given to him by any police officer engaged in traffic regulation in any public place at the time.
(2) A traffic sign included in Part A of [the First Schedule] or any traffic sign of similar type (that is, consisting of or containing a circular disc displaying a device, term, or figure and having a red ground or border) mounted or erected for the purpose of controlling motor vehicle traffic under sub-section (1) of section 116 is referred to as a "mandatory traffic sign" in this section.
The bench reminded Sibal of the notorious BMW hit-and-run case involving Sanjeev Nanda, saying that rich brats driving high-end cars at breakneck speed couldn't expect concessions. The Supreme Court is scheduled to rule today on whether or not to increase Sanjeev Nanda's sentence in the 1999 BMW hit-and-run case. In the early hours of January 10, 1999, while driving his BMW car inebriated in Lodhi Colony in South Delhi, Mr Nanda crushed six people to death, including three police officers.
Mr Nanda was found guilty of culpable homicide and sentenced to five years in prison by a trial court in September 2008. The prosecution, however, failed to show that Mr Nanda deliberately ran over seven men, six of whom died, according to the Delhi High Court. As a result, he was found guilty of Section 304-A (causing death by rash and negligent act) but not of Section 304. (culpable homicide not amounting to murder). The lesser charge under Section 304-A is two years, which is what the high court reduced his sentence to in July 2009.
Mr Basu, the petitioner's senior lawyer, is seeking bail on the grounds that the petitioner's son (hereinafter referred to as the accused) suffers from the bipolar active disorder. He claims that a prayer was rendered before the trial court under Section 330 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
The learned Public Prosecutor contends that no such finding has been made by the concerned court. The senior counsel disputes this, citing a medical report dated 16.3.2020 released by the Director of the Institute of Psychiatry, where the accused is currently being held.
The materials on file have been considered. The accused seems to be suffering from bipolar active disorder at first glance and is currently seeking care at the Institute of Psychiatry - Centre of Excellence (COE).
We are inclined to give interim bail to the convicted, Raghib Parwez, in these circumstances.
As a result, the accused shall be released on interim bail for a period of two months on the personal bond of the petitioner (i.e. his father, namely, Akhtar Parwez) to the satisfaction of the learned Judge in charge, Calcutta, subject to the condition that the accused receive medical treatment at the Institute of Psychiatry - Centre of Excellence (COE) where he is currently lodged.
DETAILS OF THE CASE
The bench questioned, “Who permitted him to drive the Jaguar at such a high speed if he is mentally ill?” In such situations, the parents should be imprisoned, said the bench. The bench also stated that the trial court had not determined that Raghib was mentally ill. The charge sheet was filed on September 18, 2019.
Raghib served eight months in prison before being granted interim bail in April of last year. Kapil Sibal, Raghib’s lawyer said that what is the point of incarcerating him now when the pandemic is still raging? He has not been accused of influencing witnesses.
The bench, on the other hand, claimed that Raghib fled to Dubai immediately after the accident. “You also made an effort to switch the driver. “No relief is warranted because of his actions,” it said. Sibal said he returned to India within 48 hours and turned himself into police for questioning. Raghib had returned after his brother Arsalan was arrested for the accident by Kolkata police.
The bench refused to grant relief, stating that Raghib should go to trial and that it was up to the competent court to decide his mental state. “Your (Sibal's) points are well-considered. But we cannot convince ourselves to agree with you on the relief you seek,” the bench said, dismissing the father's petition.
“The trial is not likely to conclude soon because the prosecution has cited 63 witnesses and voluminous evidence that needs to be collected, and sending Raghib to jail at this point would be punitive in nature and contrary to the petitioner's fundamental right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India,” Parwez said through his lawyer Ankur Chawla.
The petitions for Special Leave are denied. We explain something that is evident, at the request of learned senior counsel for the appellant, that the observations made in the impugned order are only for the purpose of bail and will not impact the trial in any way.
Raghib was allegedly studying in Australia, according to his family. However, police were able to obtain the phone number of the individual who was last behind the wheel after examining the Jaguar's data recorder. Police discovered Raghib's picture on the phone number's WhatsApp account. Raghib was also seen taking the Jaguar out of his building, according to a subsequent scan of CCTV cameras.
Raghib, who had fled to Dubai following the incident, returned two days later and was apprehended at a nursing home where he had been admitted.
Raghib was granted temporary bail by the high court in April of last year after a medical report indicated that he needed psychological assistance. But the Supreme Court rejected his bail application saying the accused cannot expect a concession only because he is rich.