Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Monday observed that prima facie a case of rash and negligent driving is made out against NRI beautician Nooriya Haveliwala, convicted in a 2010 drunken driving case. Justice AM Thipsay, while hearing the bail application filed by Haveliwala, also observed the prosecution should have examined the cab driver, whose vehicle was first hit by the SUV of the beautician, to make a stringent case against her.
"All the four eye witnesses are policemen. The taxi driver could have been an independent witness. What is the reason for not examining him. The accuracy of the accident would have been established further," the high court said. Haveliwala had moved the high court against her conviction by a lower court under section 304 (II) of IPC for culpable homicide not amounting to murder and the five-year jail term granted to her.
"Assuming that 304 (II) is not made out, prima facie 304 (a) (rash and negligent driving) is there. Primarily, I will have to see which section is applicable out of these two. That is the important question," Justice Thipsay said. Under section 304 (a), the accused faces lesser punishment up to two years.
According to the prosecution, on January 30, 2010, Haveliwala crashed her SUV into six persons, killing two of them and injuring four others. Nooriya was arrested after medical reports said she was under the influence of alcohol and drugs. The mishap had occurred on Marine Drive in South Mumbai.
In another development, additional public prosecutor Usha Kejriwal informed the high court that the government has decided to appeal against Haveliwala's acquittal under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act and not other sections of IPC such as causing hurt and obstructing a public servant from performing his duty. The court will continue the hearing on Tuesday.