The Delhi High Court has granted bail to a 19-year-old law student, who had allegedly hit a man with his car and dragged him on the vehicle's bonnet before fleeing from the spot in Greater Kailash here in February.

Justice Anoop Kumar Mendiratta noted that at the time of the unfortunate accident, though the youth was not in possession of a driving licence, he was accompanied by his father.

Senior Advocate Siddharth Luthra appeared for the accused while Meenakshi Chauhan, APP appeared for the state and Tanvir Ahmed Mir appeared for the complainant.

The fact that the accused had been earlier driving the car through at high speeds, does indicate that he was well accustomed to drive, though not in accordance with law since the licence was never obtained. The fact that the petitioner (youth) failed to stop the car on indication from a distance of 14-15 yards and further drove for about 100 meters with the injured clung to the bonnet does not lead to a conclusive inference that the injured was hit with an intention to kill, the High Court said.

It said at this stage, the matter only needs to be prima facie seen for granting or declining bail and whether an offence under sections 307 (attempt to murder)/308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide) IPC is made out is best to be left to be decided by the trial court at the appropriate stage of consideration of framing of charge, the Court held.

The court asked him to furnish a personal bond of Rs 50,000 along with a surety of the like amount.

According to the police, the accident had taken place in South Delhi's Greater Kailash on February 8, when it had got the information regarding an incident of hit and run near Greater Kailash-1 where a boy, currently a college student, had hit a 37-year-old man with his car and dragged him on its bonnet before fleeing the spot.

It had said the injured was a city-based businessman and was being treated at Max Super Specialty hospital here.

The high court, in its bail order, said the petitioner has been languishing in jail for about two months and the investigation is over, his custodial interrogation is not required and the charge sheet has already been filed.

No purpose may be served by keeping the petitioner behind the bars who happens to be a second-year student of law aged about 19 years and has clean past antecedents. The apprehension expressed that the witnesses may be influenced can be duly looked into by imposing adequate conditions, it said.

The court noted that since the youth was not in possession of a driving licence, the injured may be faced with long-drawn litigation for compensation as the liability may ultimately fall on the driver or owner of the vehicle.

It said the rights of the victim in such circumstances need to be kept in perspective, as and when any orders are passed on bail and adequate conditions can be imposed to provide some relief to the victims and secure their interest at the stage of bail itself.

The right of a victim does not just merely extend to file an appeal or participate in such proceedings but much more is required to be done in such cases of the accident in order to safeguard the rights of compensation of the victim, who at times are left at mercy of God, even to manage the medical expenses, at his or her end, it said.

While granting bail, the high court directed the youth to deposit Rs 10 lakh with the trial court in an interest bearing fixed deposit in a nationalised bank, which may be appropriately adjusted and disbursed in the proceedings for compensation by the Motor Accident Claim Tribunal or in this FIR on conclusion of the trial.

It also directed him not to leave India without prior permission of the concerned trial court and not to indulge in any criminal activity or any illegal activities during the bail period.

The court further asked him not to communicate with or come into contact with the prosecution witnesses or any member of the victim's family or tamper with the evidence of the case.

Click here to read/download Order

With PTI inputs