Need your counsel regarding a section 304A case. My cousin with his friend was travelling in a car when he had an accident. Details of the case are
He was driving the car. There was a speed breaker and a dog which came infront. He turned right and accidently hit an old person who was walking on the right side of the road [On the road and not on the pavement] (There was no divider on the road). The car remained on the road though and didn't went to the pavement.
Post accident they tried to take the victim on their car to the hospital but the car didn't start. few people came after the accident (6:00 am) . Police came in a jeep by then and my cousin took the victim in police jeep to the hospital. In the hospital he was declared dead.
An FIR was filed by the victim's son. Car was brought to the police station by my cousin and his friend. Police made a charge of 304A and 279 , bail was granted and car also relaased after 2 days. In the FIR filed the Car number is mentioned though there is no detail of the driver and the passenger.
This happened about 10 days back. Now the victim family is ready for a settlement (I understand that 304A is not compoundable). But victim's family realising that it was a genuine accident where in the victim was walking on the road & that the driver took him to the hospital and didn't try to escape, are ready for a finacial settlement.
Chargesheet is yet to be filed but as per IO there are no witness of the accident.
Need your counsel on the following points
a. In 304A cases what is the procedure that happens i.e FIR --> Mahazar ---> Chargesheet (or is it investigation report) --> Car release from court --> Dates in court [ Pardon us for asking such elementary questions but we have no idea about it ]
b. As the family is ready for settlement, how can this be used in the case for securing early trail and acquital fo teh driver
c. We had to involve a local lawyer as the accident happend in a remote place where we don't know anyone. The Lawyer is very vague on the approach he is going on saying that he'll get my cousin acquited and is not sharing any details on his strategy. He is also saying that there is no need to settle with the family and that he 'll prove in the end that my cousin was not driving the car.
We are not too convinced with this line of defence as logically the question which will come in court is that if my cousin was not driving the car then who was driving it .The other person in the car was my cousin's friend who is also the owner of the car.
d. Usually how much time does these kind of cases take and considering the merits of the case how bright are the chances of acquital of my cousin?
e. We haven't yet seen the police investigation report but I believe the police has not mentioned anything of the dog etc. They have mentioned that accident happend on the wrong side of the road. Also I don't think it's mentioned in their report that the driver took the victim to the hospital along with the police. What are the documents which we should try to get from the police and our lawyer. We only have a copy of the FIR in which the CAR number is mentioned, We had a dsicussion with the I/O and he is very sympathetic to the case and has mentioned that he has not written anything negative in the report as it was an unavoidable accident and my cousin also took the person to the hospital and didn't run away even though there was hardly anyone at the accident site.so early in the morning (around 6 am)
f. We are thinking of taking other legal opinions urgently as we are in blind with the lawyer saying that he'll get an acquital and we don't need to worry.
( Car is 8 months old - Valid insurance and Valid DL is there/ No one was drunk or any intoxication etc at all/ The victim was 71 Yeras old (In FIR age is mentioned at 65 yrs though as someone advised victim's fami;y to reduce the age to increase compensation amount in court)
Appreciate your help and thanks in advance.