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Friday, December 02 2022
Bengaluru

Hit and Run in Bengaluru in 2009: Karthik Somaiah gets 3 years, but out on bail

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Bengaluru: While Salman Khan was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison on Wednesday for killing a sleeping man in September 2002, in a similar turn of events in our own Bengaluru, Karthik Somaiah, though not a film superstar, was sentenced to three years in prison for mowing down four persons in the notorious 2009 Indiranagar case. Both are out on bail, as of now.

Karthik Somaiah’s case was the first where Bengaluru police had invoked section 304(A) of the Indian Penal Code (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) in a hit-and-run case. A trial court handed Karthik a prison sentence and a fine of Rs 3,000 in the first week of February 2015, following which he obtained bail, the TOI reported.

The prosecution is preparing to appeal in a higher court for a tougher sentence. “We feel the punishment must be stronger so it acts as a deterrent. Four lives were lost because a person was inebriated and drove his vehicle irresponsibly,” said an officer connected with the investigation . “We’ve already spoken with the public prosecutor and the appeal will be made soon,” he added.

Karthik, an operations manager with a private firm, was convicted after the court found he was drink-driving that chilly morning of January 24, 2009. He ploughed into a footpath near Doopanahalli bus stand on Indiranagar 100 Feet Road, killing four persons.

The families of the dead — physician Ramanath Pennathur, 73, former contractor Kempe Gowda, 72, retired private company employee Siddappa Reddy, 69, and milk vendor Radhakrishna, 40 — had tirelessly waited for a verdict in the case, which dragged on for a little over six years.

One of the reasons for a delay in the verdict was because defence lawyers had moved court, arguing that Karthik could not be booked under section 304(A). That petition was eventually quashed by the judiciary, allowing the prosecution to continue with the case. Karthik faces a similar case of having killed a person on Brigade Road in 1998 while riding a two-wheeler.

 

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