News

A glimpse of Janhavi Gadkar’s defence strategy

Bar & Bench

Barely a week after the horrific accident that claimed two lives, there is some inkling as to what Janhavi Gadkar’s legal defence is likely to be. The lawyer, employed as Vice President (Legal) at Reliance Industries, has been charged with the offence of culpable homicide not amounting to murder (S. 304 of the IPC) as per this Times of India report.

This section carries a maximum punishment of life imprisonment provided there was some intention to cause death. It appears that the police have charged her with the lesser offence under S. 304, i.e. that of lacking an intention to cause death. Under this lesser offence, the punishment is a maximum of ten years imprisonment or a fine or both.

The same report goes on to quote Gadkar’s lawyer Mahesh Sabnis stating that, instead, this is a case where S.304A applies, i.e. death due to negligence. Unlike the offence of culpable homicide, death due to negligence carries a punishment of two years imprisonment or a fine or both.

What the law says

S. 304 Punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder —Whoever commits culpable homicide not amounting to murder shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine, if the act by which the death is caused is done with the intention of causing death, or of causing such bodily injury as is likely to cause death, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, or with fine, or with both, if the act is done with the knowledge that it is likely to cause death, but without any intention to cause death, or to cause such bodily injury as is likely to cause death.
S. 304A Causing death by negligence —Whoever causes the death of any person by doing any rash or negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

Gadkar’s defence was revealed when she filed a bail application, which will be heard tomorrow. The bail is being opposed by both the police as well as the victims, who have filed an intervention application before the magistrate’s court.

The bail plea rests on the ground that there is no threat of tampering with evidence, nor would the investigation be affected in any way should Gadkar be granted bail.

This development comes a few days after Gadkar was remanded to police custody until June 26.

Bar and Bench - Indian Legal news
www.barandbench.com