State Tr.P.S. Lodhi Colony, New Delhi vs Sanjeev Nanda:
1999 Delhi hit-and-run case
Having sufficient knowledge that their action was likely to cause death, the act/case would fall under Section 304(II) of the Indian Penal Code.
In the said case which is popularly known as the BMW hit and run case, Sanjeev Nanda had allegedly lost control of his BMW near Lodhi road and ran over six people including three cops.The case attracted media attention, and India Today even quoted it as "a test of the judicial system's ability to take on the powerful."
The trial court found respondent guilty of commission of offence under Section 304 Part II of the IPC and awarded him a jail sentence of five years.
The High Court held that though the act of accused amounted to rashness and negligence endangering the lives of others, since there was no intention or knowledge of causing death, no case for conviction of accused under section 304 Part II was made out. And thereafter found the accused Sanjeev Nanda guilty of commission of offence under Section 304 A of the IPC and reduced the sentence to two years.
Would the act of killing 6 persons in a drunken state fall under 304 (a) or 304 Part II?
The accused had sufficient knowledge that his action was likely to cause death and such an action would, in the facts and circumstances of this case fall under Section 304(II) of the IPC and the trial court has rightly held so and the High Court has committed an error in converting the offence to Section 304A of the IPC.
The Supreme Court held that on default, the accused will have to undergo simple imprisonment for one year.Accused has to pay an amount of Rs.50 lakh to the Union of India within six months. In the case the accused was acquitted by the Supreme Court after a big discussion on 304 (a) and 304 (b) on the basis that he will provide community service which will be better for the society rather than him being in jail.