KOLKATA: Police have finally slapped the stringent ‘culpable homicide’ charge against actor Vikram Chatterjee for the death of model Sonika Singh Chauhan, who was travelling with the actor in his car which crashed on Rashbehari Avenue in the early hours of April 29 .
An Alipore court on Tuesday granted the police’s plea to slap section 304 of IPC (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), an offence that is punishable by up to 10 years in jail.
“The section was slapped after we took legal opinion and found conclusive evidence that he had knowledge of what he was doing,” said joint CP (crime) Vishal Garg.
Sonika’s family and friends, who have been running a sustained campaign to seek justice for the model, welcomed the police move. “All we wanted the cops to do was to establish the truth. This is a step in this direction,” said a close family friend.
According to public prosecutor Sourin Ghosal, the court was presented with two reasons for seeking the stringent charge. First, the event data recorder (EDR) recovered from Vikram’s car showed he was driving at 105 km/hr before the crash. Secondly, there are several eyewitness accounts that the actor was consuming alcohol that night.
Vikram’s lawyer, Rajdeep Majumdar, said they were yet to see the court’s order. “He is on bail and under the court’s guardianship. To arrest him, the police will have to move a plea in court for cancellation of his bail,” he said.