Home India News Apex court advises Nanda on courtship, wedlock

Apex court advises Nanda on courtship, wedlock


New Delhi: The venerated Supreme Court Monday assured former Indian Navy chief S.M. Nanda’s grandson Sanjeev Nanda, a convict in the 1999 BMW hit-and-run case, that a marriage that follows long courtship lasts longer.

The assurance, albeit in a lighter vein, came from a bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justice Deepak Verma as senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Sanjeev, sought to oppose a Delhi Police appeal seeking enhancement of his jail term.

Sanjeev was sentenced to two-year imprisonment by the Delhi High Court for mowing down 6 people, including three policemen, on south Delhi’s Lodhi Road Jan 10, 1999, under his BMW car.

Rohatgi opposed the police appeal against the high court ruling, saying that his client got married recently and police are out to ruin his marriage by seeking enhanced sentence for him.

Rohatgi argued that before tying the nuptial knot, his client patiently waited for more than 180 days, the mandatory period within which police were required to file the appeal against the high court ruling.

Before the wedding, even his bride-to-be was apprehensive and asked him to wait for at least 180 days to see if police appeal against his two-year jail term, which he had already undergone, argued Rohatgi.

With Nanda’s counsel harping on the prospect of his client’s marriage, the court made the tongue-in-cheek remark, “Your marriage will last long because you had a long courtship.”

Appearing for Nanda, another senior counsel and former law minister Ram Jethmalani argued that “the boy” has served his sentence, besides spending over Rs.65 lakh to compensate the families of the victims of the accident.

He said Nanda has already suffered the ordeal of trial for over a decade and the matter will take another 10 years or 20 years for reaching finality in the Supreme Court.

The bench subsequently adjourned the hearing to July when it would hear Nanda’s remaining argument on whether police should be allowed to file an appeal after the mandatory 180 days.