Family’s protest forced cops to arrest driver
22-Year-Old Was Let Off As Charge Was Lighter; IO Removed, Stringent Sections Applied
New Delhi: It took much protest from Poonam Sardana’s family to have the police decision to let off Shivani Malik reversed. Poonam, 38, was killed and her daughter, Chetanaya, 13, left with serious injuries on Friday night when an intoxicated Malik rammed her Maruti SCross into the former’s Mahindra Quanto and two other cars. After the drama at the Punjabi Bagh police station, the investigating officer was removed, Malik was arrested and stricter sections of the law invoked in the case against her.
While the victim’s relatives were busy with the formalities, the driver of one of the damaged vehicles informed them that Malik had been set free. “When we reached the police station, we realised that bailable sections of the Indian Penal Code had been applied, and she had left for a hospital in Ghaziabad and got herself admitted for minor injuries,” said Vikram Sardana, brother-in-law of the deceased.
Agitated family members contacted senior police officers and after creating a ruckus at the police station, the cops relented. Malik had been allowed to leave after a case was registered against her for causing death due to negligence (Section 304A) The S Cross (top left) driven by Shivani Malik (inset) first hit a WagonR, then jumped over the divider and hit the Quanto (right) on the right side and negligent driving (Section 279). Following the protest, the charges were elevated to culpable homicide under Section 304 and causing death due to negligence, and Malik was arrested.
The Sardana family was returning home to Adarsh Nagar from Chhatarpur, where they ritually visited a temple on auspicious days, such as Bhai Dooj on Friday. The family members have not informed Chetanaya about her mother’s death, while the younger son, Daivik, has been inconsolable.
The Sardanas run a clothes business at Adarsh Nagar. Poonam had also recently set up a boutique in Indra Nagar. “She worked as a manager at a private firm before marriage and was using her skills to run the boutique,” said Vikram. “It would be most difficult for Vimal to raise the two children alone now that his wife isn’t there.”
Vimal Sardana and his family drive towards Azadpur on Punjabi Bagh flyover