In a twist to the Mercedes hit-and-run case that claimed the life of 32-year-old Siddharth Sharma, police have slapped graver charges on the driver after learning that he was a repeat offender and arrested his father for abetting the crime.
The juvenile, who turned 18 on Friday, will be taken into custody again on Saturday for this offence, police said. He was earlier charged with causing death due to negligence. The stricter action comes after police found the juvenile driver was involved in another road accident in the same area. They have recorded the statement of the person whose car he had hit that time. Both father and son will be chargesheeted in the case. Both the arrest of the father under section 109 of IPC and application of the stricter section 304 II in an accident case involving a minor are probably the first such instances in Delhi.
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The traffic police also found that the Mercedes S-200K car (DL 2F CM 3000) had been booked for speeding and rash driving thrice in the past. The Mercedes figured in two challans issued for speeding and rash driving in April and June last year. The driver was fined for speeding on Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg and Netaji Subhash Marg and warned that another offence would lead to impounding of his licence, a police officer said.
The last notice, in March, went unattended, leading to suspicion that the juvenile could have been driving on that occasion as well.
Police had invoked section 304 II (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) instead of 304A slapped earlier, in the wake of his past conduct.
On March 3 this year, a passerby noticed the Mercedes speeding down Rajpur Road near the lieutenant governor’s residence and clicked a photograph of the car. He then sent it to the traffic police, following which a notice was issued to the owner of the vehicle.
Police officers said that a challan of Rs 1,000 was issued against the driver, but he failed to appear before the traffic officer at the Civil Lines circle. The identity of the driver hasn’t been established but officers said that they were probing whether the accused juvenile was driving the car.
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