Fam­ily’s protest forced cops to ar­rest driver

22-Year-Old Was Let Off As Charge Was Lighter; IO Re­moved, Strin­gent Sec­tions Ap­plied

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES CITY -

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.”

Yo­gesh Ku­mar

Vi­mal Sar­dana and his fam­ily drive to­wards Azad­pur on Pun­jabi Bagh fly­over

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