MUMBAI: Despite surrendering to the court after Supreme Court cancelled his bail, Alister Pereira was sent home by the local police and courts on Monday as a certified copy of the apex court order was not available.
“After he surrendered at Khar police station where the FIR against him was registered originally, he was taken to the session’s court,” Deputy Commissioner of Police Pratap Dighavkar said. Following a day of confusion during which he was taken from Khar Police station to Sessions court in Sewri and many intermediate stops he finally reached the Khar police station from where he went back to his house on Carter Road.
“We have not received the copy of the Supreme Court order and hence, even though, he surrendered, we did not arrest him. He will be taken into custody as soon as we receive the court’s order and he will then be sent to jail,” Mr Dighavkar added. The police said Pereira would be informed once the court order was received and he would have to surrender before the court.
Seven people were killed and eight others injured after Pereira, driving under the influence of alcohol, lost control over his car and ran over labourers sleeping by the road side in November 2006. The Supreme Court, on January 12, had ordered Pereira to surrender immediately and serve the remainder of his jail sentence.
Noting that a three-year term in prison is too meagre a punishment for running his car over seven lives in a drunken spree, the Supreme Court, on January 12, had ordered Pereira to surrender immediately and serve the remainder of his jail sentence. The Supreme Court concurred with the Bombay High Court’s verdict holding him guilty for the offence added that the sentence could not be enhanced as Maharashtra government did not challenge it.
The trial court sentenced him to six months’ simple imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 5 lakh for ‘rash and negligent driving’ (Section 304 A of IPC). Following a public furore on the quantum of punishment, the Bombay High Court in 2007 took suo motu cognisance of the case and raised the punishment to three years, convicting him under culpable homicide not amounting to murder. Pereira, who has spent only two months in jail so far, approached the SC against the High Court verdict where his bail plea was cancelled. (Eom)