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.
Model Sonika Chauhan death case: Kolkata Police arrest accused Vikram Chatterjee, will be produced in court later today
— ANI (@ANI_news) July 7, 2017
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.
“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.
Updated Date: Jul 07, 2017 10:12 AM