Case note: seven people were hit by a black BMW car in Delhi on Jan 10, 1999. The initial testimonies and a 30-minute film recorded next morning led the police to conclude that hit-and-run was caused by three young drunk men. These three people were Siddhanth Gupta, Manik Kapoor and the alleged driver Sanjeev Nanda, who is the grandson of former Navy Chief Admiral S.M. Nanda and son of arms dealer Suresh Nanda. While Nanda and several related parties were initially acquitted and released in a trial in 1999,Nanda was later found guilty in 2008 and sentenced to two years in prison, which was reduced to time served, a large fine, and two years of community service by the Indian Supreme Court in 2012.The case attracted media attention, and was viewed by India Today as “a test of the judicial system’s ability to take on the powerful” and became a litmus test for the Indian Democracy’s foundation principles that nobody is above law.


  • January 10,1999: the accused Sanjeev Nanda in an inebriated state, without an Indian driving licence while driving a brand new BMW car bearing registration No. M 312 LYP caused an accident at the Lodhi Road in which 6 persons, including three police officers were trampled to death and one person was injured. After causing the accident, the accused Sanjeev Nanda fled away from the accident spot and parked the accidental car at 50 Golf Links at the residence of his friend Siddharth Gupta.
  • Apr 7, 1999: Police file chargesheet under section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 201 (destruction of evidence) of the IPC.
  • Aug 3, 1999: Charges framed against the accused.
  • Sep 30, 1999: Mumbai-based businessman Sunil Kulkarni, who claims to be an eye-witness, is dropped as prosecution witness after being condemned as a won-over man.
  • May 14, 2007: Kulkarni records statement as a court witness. He identifies Nanda as one of the occupants of the car but says he did not see him on the driving seat.
  •  May 30, 2007: A news channel airs a sting operation showing collusion between Nanda’s counsel, R K Anand, and prosecutor I U Khan to subvert administration of justice.
  • Aug 21, 2008: HC holds Khan and Anand guilty of contempt and bars them from appearing in courts for 4 months.
  • Sep 2, 2008: Trial Court convicts Sanjeev Nanda for mowing down six persons. Three others, including businessman Rajeev Gupta and his two employees Bhola Nath and Shyam Singh, convicted for destruction of evidence. Another co-accused Manik Kapoor acquitted.
  •  Sep 5, 2008: Trial court awards Nanda five years jail term. Gupta and his employees — Bhola Nath and Shyam Singh — get one year and six months prison terms, respectively.
  • Sep 16, 2008: Gupta and his two employees file their appeal in the High court challenging the trial court’s conviction order.
  •  Sep 17, 2008: HC issues notice to city police.
  •  Sep 22, 2008: Nanda approaches the HC challenging lower court’s decision.
  •  Sep 23, 2008: HC issues a notice to the police on Nanda’s appeal.
  •  Sep 30, 2008: HC grants bail to Gupta.
  •  Oct 4, 2008:   HC rejects Nanda’s bail plea.
  •  Dec 19, 2008: HC grants three-week interim bail to Nanda to meet his ailing grandfather.
  •  Jan 9, 2009:   HC rejects Nanda’s plea to extend his interim bail.
  •  Mar 6, 2009: HC grants one week interim bail to Nanda to meet his ailing grandfather.
  •  May 12, 2009: HC reserves its verdict and grants three weeks interim bail to Nanda to attend the funeral of his grandfather and former Naval Chief S M Nanda, who died on May 11.
  • July, 20, 2009: HC upholds conviction against Nanda and three others. However, it reduces Nanda’s jail term from five to two years.
  • August 3,2012:  The Supreme Court has ruled that Sanjeev Nanda will not have to put in any more jail time. He has been asked to do two years of community service and to donate 50 lakhs which will be used to help victims of road accidents.

Abha Singh

Abha Singh is a former civil servant and presently an advocate practicing in the Bombay High Court. She is a renowned social activist who has done considerable work in the realm of woman’s rights, gender equality and justice. She has done an M.Phil on Child Rights from the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Abha Singh was the third runner-up and the lead woman finalist in the Times of India Lead India Campaign in 2008. She was further awarded the Chevening Scholarship to attend the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her talk ‘Honour Killings in India and the Legal Complications of Section 498A” at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London received widespread acclaim. Abha Singh was also invited as a speaker at TEDx Oxbridge, conducted jointly by the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge in May, 2017. Sensing the call of duty beyond service, she gave up a successful career in the Government to serve a larger cause by donning the robes of the legal profession. Abha Singh obtained a law degree from Bombay University while working as a Government. Abha Singh took up the case of the two Palghar girls in right earnest when she learnt about their unlawful arrest by the Police for innocent comments on Facebook. Due to her perseverance the guilty cops were suspended and the girls were exonerated honorably. Abha Singh has been successfully pursuing the Salman Khan Hit-and-Run case to ensure that the rule of law is upheld and the youth are educated against the hazards of drunken driving.

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