OVER A month after model Sonika Singh Chauhan died in a car accident while being driven by actor Vikram Chatterjee, the Belgachia Forensic Laboratory has claimed that the blood sample it had received was not in sufficient quantity to conduct an alcohol test and conclude whether Vikram was drunk at the time of the incident.
Sources in the police said that following the accident on April 29, Ruby General Hospital in Kolkata had collected Vikram’s blood sample the same day. It, however, sent the sample to the lab for alcohol test on May 6. The lab had received the sample on May 8. Usually, such a test should be conducted within 12 hours of consuming liquor, said sources. The lab on Thursday submitted a report in this regard to the deputy police commissioner of South Kolkata.
“The sample received was in such a small quantity that the poison could not be detected by the available method of chemical analysis…,” the report stated. “The hospital had sent a sample of 0.5 ml of blood for test, which is not enough. We do not have any laboratory evidence to prove if Vikram was drunk when he was driving,” said a police officer.
Sources said a minimum of 10 ml of blood is required to find if alcohol, poison or any drug is present in a body. The Tollygunge police station, which is investigating the case, has written to the hospital after receiving the report. “A letter has been sent to the hospital seeking an explanation on why such a little amount of blood was sent for alcohol test,” said Joint CP (Crime) Vishal Garg.
When contacted, an official of Ruby General Hospital refused to comment on the matter, saying: “The matter is being investigated by the police.” A police officer, meanwhile, claimed: “The report has not been able to establish the alcohol theory, but we have other evidence. The car was being driven at a high speed… eyewitnesses have recorded their statements. This won’t affect the probe as such.”
On April 29, a Toyota Corolla Altis, with Chatterjee behind the wheel, had crashed into a pavement on Rash Behari Avenue in Kolkata. Chauhan, who was reportedly not wearing a seat belt, was taken to Ruby General Hospital by Chatterjee. There, she died at 4.50 am. Chatterjee, who got discharged from the same hospital after primary medication, got re-admitted there following Chauhan’s death.
Chauhan’s family later lodged a complaint against Chatterjee, accusing him of negligence. Police, which had already registered a suo motu case against Chatterjee, clubbed the family’s complaint and initiated a probe. After Chatterjee got discharged on May 3, the police served him a notice, asking him to record his statement. The next day, he surrendered in court and was granted bail. While he didn’t appear before the police, he went on to address the media, claiming that he was not drunk, and that he hadn’t been driving at a high speed at the time of the accident.