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Old 11th September 2008, 12:36   #61
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Originally Posted by PatchyBoy View Post
they can and would still claim that your car was involved. It was just being driven by someone else. What are your plans to counter that?
I am not a lawyer, so it can be a dumb question.

In that case (if ONLY the car was involved) it should be none of his worries. His insurance company should take care of third party claims.

Is that the case?

(and by "involved" i mean if cops can prove it to be involved).
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Old 11th September 2008, 12:39   #62
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You really do not have to prove where you were. You only have to prove where the car was. That will automatically absolve you from the accusation.
Regarding that, we have already told cops to check toll booth records, there are 5-6 toll booths on the way to Kolhapur - and being computerized booths, each one of them records car number - and my car number won't be there!

Is there a way to get toll booth entries for that date?
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Old 11th September 2008, 13:17   #63
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Originally Posted by manish7 View Post
Regarding that, we have already told cops to check toll booth records, there are 5-6 toll booths on the way to Kolhapur - and being computerized booths, each one of them records car number - and my car number won't be there!

Is there a way to get toll booth entries for that date?
While I am not in a position to help you on how to get the toll entries, using RTI I think you could possibly explore.

With the caveat that am not a legal expert my two cents, the police could always turn back and say that you were in that town for a longer period of time rather than opting to return back to Pune after the accident which would mean the proof of your car passing through the toll booths. Also they can say that you cautiously went back to Pune by avoiding the toll bridges which means you took an alternate road back to avoid being detected.

What you could possibly do is to show a proof of your car's presence in Pune which would stand the scrutiny of the court and then show the toll records from that day onwards until the day of accident that your car has not passed through the toll bridge to reach Kolhapur and the first entry of your car is when you first visited the Police station for enquiry after the summons. With the booth identification you can conclusively prove that the first entry is a movement from Pune to Kolhapur and not the other way.

But after keeping a tab of your feedback over the last couple of weeks I suspect that you are deliberately being nailed, the easier way out in my opinion is if you have any senior contacts in the Government who could help you out. While going to press could help you, writing possibly to the TV guys who are desperate for sound bytes all the time, could serve you better.

Dont lose heart. Truth always prevails.

Cheers
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Old 11th September 2008, 16:49   #64
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Originally Posted by pypkmsrikanth View Post

Also they can say that you cautiously went back to Pune by avoiding the toll bridges which means you took an alternate road back to avoid being detected.


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What you could possibly do is to show a proof of your car's presence in Pune which would stand the scrutiny of the court ...
Dont lose heart. Truth always prevails.

Cheers
again.

Your best bet is to prove that your car was in Pune on the date the accident happened. Do you happen to have a fuel bill on that day, by a stroke of luck? Maybe you can get one, that shows your car regn number, date and time of filling. The time needs to obviously be lesser that the time it takes to travel from Pune to the accident spot.

Cheers,

Rajan
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Old 15th September 2008, 02:19   #65
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1. The police have to prove with sufficient evidence that can be verified that your car was involved in that accident on that day. You will have to be shown this and you will have the opportunity to refute this.

2. Have the given you details of the FIR? The basis on which they have named you as the accused?

3. From all that I have read, their chargesheet seems to be lacking legal basis.

4. Are there any alternate routes to go to that town and to leave that town? Do you have evidence you can produce in court to conclusively prove that you were not where they claim you were on that day? Can that evidence also extend to proving that your car could not possibly have been in that town on that day?

5. Do you have any business interests or other reasons to visit that town? Relatives? Friends? Work? Have you been there before? Do you visit that town often? Do you have to pass this town to get to another town that you visit often?

6. Does anyone other than you drive your car? Is it possible for your car to have been taken out on that day?

7. You mentioned the cops had a piece of numberplate with your registration number on it? Is you number plate broken? Did you replace it? Do the materials of the 2 plates match? Have you changed your numberplate after you bought it? If so, why? If not, does the plate have some sort of identification marks of the True Value dealer who sold you the car?

8. What were you doing on that day? Is it possible to provide documentary evidence of where you were and what you were doing?

These are the question that come to mind at the top of my head. I shall post more as I think of them. Get yourself a lawyer from your city. Do not leave your car in that town under any circumstance. Check RTO records for your car. Is there a similarity between the region codes of the area you live in and the area in which the accident occured? What is the status of the people who were involved in the accident? Around what time did the accident occur according to the police?

Cheers!
Kartik
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Old 15th September 2008, 06:08   #66
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Lots of updates but sometime later maybe, the cops were quite nice and they served me notice yesterday.
I may have missed something in this long thread so forgive me if I ask a question that has already been addressed.

Did they tell you anything about the accident as to its severity? If they say you hit something/somebody then they should show you the damange to YOUR CAR and where on the car it has been repaired. Of course, you had better have somebody look at your car to see if it has had any repairs before you invite this examination.
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Old 15th September 2008, 13:37   #67
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@kartikkumar - I cannot answer all your questions publically (as my lawyer has suggested), but I will answer which I can -

(1) I am being accused as registered owner of the car which they have "detected" (highly debatable and IMO, ridiculous) in an accident!

(2) I am not aware of alternate routes etc.

(3) I do not have any direct connection to that town. It's only now we are finding friend's uncle, uncle's friend, father's friend etc. No relatives there.

(4) No one except myself drives my car - how do I prove this though? Only while going there we had hired drivers as I don't drive car for such a long distance - in fact never driven car outside Pune.

(5) My number plate is metallic and not broken - True value guys gave me a new number plate 2 years ago when I bought the car (originla was in a pretty bad state) and I haven't touched it since. It does look old with rusted nuts and all, but no sticker etc as such on that number plate.

(6) I have ample evidence that I was in Pune on that day!

Let's see now - I am really tired of discussing all this. Planning to find a lawyer who is capable of dismissing this case in the first hearing itself!! I have had enough of this ridiculous accusation due to incompetent cops & their lack of proper investigations!
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Old 15th September 2008, 13:55   #68
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@kartikkumar - I cannot answer all your questions publically (as my lawyer has suggested), but I will answer which I can -

Let's see now - I am really tired of discussing all this. Planning to find a lawyer who is capable of dismissing this case in the first hearing itself!! I have had enough of this ridiculous accusation due to incompetent cops & their lack of proper investigations!
My suggestion, in addition to above you may try and write to Dr Pasricha from Cybersteering - The complete guide to Indian Cars . He regularly answers traffic rules related queries from people and was an ex cop.
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Old 15th September 2008, 15:49   #69
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Planning to find a lawyer who is capable of dismissing this case in the first hearing itself!!
This is the best sounding idea of all your posts about this problem. Spend some money and put it behind you.
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Old 7th October 2008, 13:27   #70
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The charge-sheet is sent to the court now by cops, and I have few questions -

(1) Do I need to give proper lawyer now at the time of charge-sheet hearing? Looks like it will be in a week's time now.

(2) I have narrowed down choice to 3 lawyers now, one from Ichalkaranji (the case will be in Ichalkaranji court) and 2 from Kolhapur. The one in Ichalkaranji is through some family friend and I have met him personally and seems reliable. He's old though and not sure if he can understand IP address and all that. Another one from Kolhapur is also senior and is my friend's uncle - he also looks little lost about IP addresses & all that and how definite those records are. Both these lawyers are not criminal specialist, but do handle criminal cases as well. The third one is a professional criminal lawyer (but unknown) from Kolhapur - I haven't met him or spoken to him directly. Now I need to decide which lawyer I decide - none of them is quoting fees before reading the charge-sheet and I am not able to decide.

(3) How much fees lawyers charge for such accident cases? I had read here that it's typically 200-500 per hearing. Is that true? The lawyers I am talking about are mentioning lump sum though. How much should I pay? All this money is my hard earned money & I have to spend it unnecessarily though it's not my fault! :(

(4) Is it possible to dismiss case when charge-sheet is being read for the first time? In that case what preparation do I do?

(5) What happens when charge-sheet is given or read? Does hearing start from that date or is first hearing date given at that time?

Any inputs here will be highly appreciated.

Last edited by manish7 : 7th October 2008 at 13:30.
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Old 7th October 2008, 17:31   #71
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What a cruel turn of events, I hope you are vindicated quickly.

Get a lawyer who understands the merits of the case very well. His opinion should sound convincing and very confident.

The Police have to prove conclusively that you or rather your car was there on that day of accident and the accident was caused by your car, these are two different things- trust me this is not easy.
Also since you are not guilty you should be claiming court expenses along with some defamation and mental agony charges when you go to court. They are bound to entertain this considering the frivolousness of the charges.

You are plain unlucky to be involved here but be brave and hold out, it will all be okay.
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Old 7th October 2008, 17:44   #72
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I am also considering defamation suite, but do I need to file that now or should I get out of this first and then file that? If I could, I would like to have that investigating constable suspended for sheer negligence & poor investigations. Anyway!
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Old 7th October 2008, 17:56   #73
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Originally Posted by manish7 View Post
The charge-sheet is sent to the court now by cops, and I have few questions -

(1) Do I need to give proper lawyer now at the time of charge-sheet hearing? Looks like it will be in a week's time now.
Yes, you need a lawyer - and the court will be sending you a summons.


Quote:
(2) I have narrowed down choice to 3 lawyers now, one from Ichalkaranji (the case will be in Ichalkaranji court) and 2 from Kolhapur. The one in Ichalkaranji is through some family friend and I have met him personally and seems reliable. He's old though and not sure if he can understand IP address and all that.
Stick to him right now - he had the local advantage. If need arises, you can change your lawyer any time.

Quote:
Another one from Kolhapur is also senior and is my friend's uncle - he also looks little lost about IP addresses & all that and how definite those records are. Both these lawyers are not criminal specialist, but do handle criminal cases as well. The third one is a professional criminal lawyer (but unknown) from Kolhapur - I haven't met him or spoken to him directly. Now I need to decide which lawyer I decide - none of them is quoting fees before reading the charge-sheet and I am not able to decide.
200-500 per hearing is in the class of payments made to manual labour. Do not expect anything better from them. And all this talk about lawyers "specialising" in a subject is plain nonsense. Consider this situation - if a company's director violates a provision of the companies law (eg. not filing a return on time), and is prosecuted, will you consult a corporate lawyer, or a criminal lawyer?

Lawyers claim to "specialise" in a particular field only to impress clients; IMHO except for those "specialising" in ambulance chasing, there is no other speciality in law; and if anybody claims to be such a specialist, keep a barge-pole distance from him.

Quote:
(3) How much fees lawyers charge for such accident cases? I had read here that it's typically 200-500 per hearing. Is that true? The lawyers I am talking about are mentioning lump sum though. How much should I pay? All this money is my hard earned money & I have to spend it unnecessarily though it's not my fault! :(
No option there. That is the amount you will pay a daily wage unskilled worker in Kerala. And expect to pay a lump sum amount at the time you engage him and also before the examination of witnesses starts. And another lump sum after you win the case.


Quote:
(4) Is it possible to dismiss case when charge-sheet is being read for the first time? In that case what preparation do I do?
Yes; the court is supposed to hold a hearing; but things can get complicated here - depends largely on the outlook of the judge. The local lawyer will know the judge best; hence my advise to stick to a local lawyer.

Quote:
(5) What happens when charge-sheet is given or read? Does hearing start from that date or is first hearing date given at that time?
Here is what is going to happen.

a. You are asked to appear on the day charges are going to be framed; you are all charged up, adrenaline rushing; and turn up at court right at 11 AM (guess that is the time courts begin their hearing). YOur lawyer had told you that he will be inside the court hall; and you have to wait outside, listening for the case to be called (you will be given a number, and asked to watchout for that number to be called).

2. On reaching the court, you find a crowd, three times the number of the court halls STANDING capacity inside the court hall; and 10 times that number outside the hall.

3. In 15 minutes, the crowd, the jostling, pushing and straining your ears would have taken its toll on your psychology.

4. You suddenly find YOUR lawyer looking at you and gesturing why you are not in the accused box yet. (you did not realise that your case is being called).

5. You find people making way for you, you get into the accused box, and the judge mumbles something.

6. You hear the words "Are you guilty" - most probably in Marathi - very loud and clear.

That, my dear, is what is called "reading over the charges" means.

Once, and (if) you plead not guilty, case would be adjourned (it is 1 year in Ernakulam - yes, you read that right) and will be called again. The trial schedule will be fixed on that day; or on any day to which the case adjourned later. Do not expect witnessess to be examined within 3 years of the case being filed (from date the charge sheet was filed). Hearing / arguments takes place after the witnesses are examined.

Expect to take leave 5 to 10 leaves a year to attend to this case. <sarcasm> You can drive down on each occassion, and update us about the road conditions.</sarcasm>

Is it frustrating?
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Old 7th October 2008, 18:31   #74
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Hi Manish,

> Expect to take leave 5 to 10 leaves a year to attend to this case.

I can sympathise with you.

Years back, my sister (who is 350kms from my town) appeared once in two months for almost 4 years after the initial reading of charges until the case was disposed in her favour. The case was negligent and rash driving.

It would be a long drawn process and would be frustrating.

Backseatdriver is perfectly right. When you answer the summons of the court (be sure that you do else an arrest warrant is likely to be issued) the charge sheet if read on that day, that would be the only procedure done on that day. Be emphatic about the 'not guilty' part!

Sorry can't help you with the costs, as the lawyer was a friend and did not charge a penny.

Last edited by trrk : 7th October 2008 at 18:35.
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Old 7th October 2008, 18:41   #75
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Well, 200-500 was typo. But I have read here on TB itself that lawyer charges around 400-500 per hearing. There was hardly any procedure on many days. Anyway, how much should I pay the lawyer???? If it's way too exorbitant - I might just need to cancel lot of other plans that we have. We are recently married & planing to start family -- this is a not a stress that we want to carry for long! I understand though that it's going to be a long process.... :(

Also, can I apply for exemption to appear on the day when charge-sheet is read out? Or do I apply later?
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