A court in Kolkata will decide on October 9 whether actor Vikram Chatterjee will get relief in the case of the death of model and TV host Sonika Chauhan in a car crash in Kolkata last April or whether the case will go to trial.
At a hearing at Alipore additional district judge's court on Wednesday, the parents of late Sonika, who was just 28 when she died, expressed hope the case would go to trial.
"Vikram Chatterjee has filed for his discharge. We are very hopeful that his application will be dismissed and charges will be framed on October 9. We expect a speedy trial," said the Ms Chauhan family lawyer, Sanjay Basu.
On 28 September, Vikram Chatterjee's lawyers had sought relief for the actor from court as they reportedly stated, no alcohol was found in his blood tests.
Soon after Sonika's death, Vikram had held a press meet and claimed he was neither drunk nor speeding when the car crashed on April 29, contesting claims by Sonika's friends that he had indeed had alcohol before offering to drop Sonika home.
The car was travelling at between 95 and 105 kmph, according to carmakers Toyota who have submitted a report to the police.
As they were going down Rashbehari Avenue in south Kolkata around 3.30 am, the car Vikram was driving crashed into a divider in the middle of the road and then into a lamp post on the other side of the road. A severely injured Sonika as well as Vikram were rushed to hospital where Sonika died.
"We are very hopeful the case will not go to trial and Chatterjee will be given relief by the court," said Anirban Guha Thakurta, lawyer for the actor, today.
Vikram's legal team has not only cited blood tests that found no trace of alcohol, they have also said Sonika was an adult who was with the actor in the evening before the crash. If indeed he had had alcohol, she would have known but had decided to travel in the car he was driving, knowing the risk.
"We proposed a charge today. The court will see if the prima facie material is there or not to proceed into trial, and in this case prima facie materials are there and so Chatterjee's discharge petition is not maintainable," said lawyer Tirthankar Roy.
Public prosecutor Nabakumar Ghosh also told court that since a culpable homicide case has been prima facie established, the discharge petition is not maintainable.
The court is expected to decide the issue on October 9.
According to records, charge sheet was filed by the police under sections 304 A and 304 (ii) of the IPC. 304A is about causing death by negligence not amounting to culpable homicide.
304 (ii) is about an act done with knowledge that is likely to cause death but without any intention to cause death or bodily injury.