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Sonika Chauhan death case: Actor Vikram Chatterjee arrested on charges of rash driving, to appear in court today

Kolkata police arrested actor Vikram Chatterjee in connection with the death of model Sonika Chauhan in a car crash on 29 April, news agency ANI reported.

According to news reports from the time, Vikram was going to drop Sonika home after a party at around 3.30 am on 29 April when their SUV reportedly rammed into a pavement on the Rash Behari Avenue in South Kolkata. While Vikram suffered injuries, Chauhan died in the hospital, according to a report by Hindustan Times.

Vikram was allegedly inebriated while driving. However, due to lack of evidence, the actor has been charged with causing death due to rash and negligent driving, according to NDTV

According to The Indian Express, forensic analysis was conducted on the car thrice and the results indicated that the car was moving at a speed more than 100 kilometres per hour.

File image of Vikram Chatterjee and Monika Chauhan.

File image of Vikram Chatterjee and Monika Chauhan. News 18

“It has been found that Vikram was driving at a much higher speed than what he had claimed. The event data recorder of the vehicle revealed that the car was at a speed of 105 kilomtres per hour six seconds before it rammed into the pavement. The forensic team took photographs and collected parts of the vehicle," The Indian Express report quoted a police officer as saying.

Initially Vikram had denied that he had consumed alcohol, or was driving at a speed beyond the admitted limit but he admitted it later.

Vikram, in a press conference, had said he was deeply sorry for Sonika's family's loss, and asserted that he was not driving in an inebriated state. He also said he was driving within the speed limit when the accident occurred. He, however, later admitted to consuming alcohol on the night of the accident, according to The Times of India.

His father alleged that the airbags of the Toyota car did not activate because of which Chauhan took the impact of the crash and died.

Besides accessing CCTV footage of the area, police also collected bills from all three bars which Vikram and Sonika had visited hours before the accident. "While the bills showed drinks were ordered, this is not enough to prove that Vikram was intoxicated,” said a police officer in the report by The Indian Express.

The death split Kolkata’s modelling and silver-screen world, with Sonika’s friend charging Vikram of suppressing truth. The model’s friend organised a candlelight walk on 8 May demanding “Justice for Sonika.” According to another Hindustan Times report, there were allegations that Vikram’s blood samples were taken as many as nine days after the incident.

Moreover, Belgachia forensic laboratory further claimed that the blood samples they received were not sufficient in quantity to determine whether Vikram was drunk at the time of the accident, according to another report in The  Indian Express.

After pressure mounted on the police to act tough, Vikram was summoned to Tollygunge police station and questioned a few times.

Finally on 30 May, Vikram was charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder, a non-bailable section, for Sonika’s death, as reported in The Times of India.

However, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Vishal Garg added that the high speed of the car can be considered as a deliberate act and Vikram has been booked under Section 304 of IPC, according to The Indian Express.

Updated Date: Jul 07, 2017 10:12 AM

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