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Court jails wealthy Indian in hit-and-run case

  Court Watch  -   POSTED: 2008/09/05 13:23

The son of a wealthy Indian arms dealer was sentenced Friday to five years in prison after being found guilty of running over and killing six people, including three police officers, with his car more than nine years ago, his attorney said.

Sanjeev Nanda, 30, who pleaded innocent, was convicted on manslaughter charges in what is known as the BMW case.

The high-profile case has been seen as a test of whether India's judicial system, which has a long history of favoring the well-connected, is willing to hold the wealthy accountable.

Judge Vinod Kumar sentenced three other defendants to prison terms ranging from six months to one year on charges of destroying evidence.

"This is a harsh penalty," said Nanda's attorney, Prem Kumar, adding that he would appeal the verdict in New Delhi's High Court.

However, Ved Marwah, a former police commissioner and a prominent commentator on criminal affairs, said Nanda should consider himself lucky that he didn't get the maximum punishment of 10 years in prison.


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