Hit-and-run driver Puneet Puneet has promised to hand himself in to Australian authorities as long as they can ensure he will be granted a maximum two year jail sentence for killing a student in Melbourne in 2008.
The killer fled the country on a friend’s passport shortly after pleading guilty to the incident and was eight years later arrested by Indian authorities on his wedding day.
He has since attended several hearings in India with his lawyer telling The Herald Sun this week that Puneet will return to Australia for sentencing but only under strict conditions which would see him serve only a couple of years behind bars. This is a much more lenient sentence than the 20 to 30 years he was reportedly told he could serve back in 2008.
“Let government of Australia give us an offer that he will be sentenced to a maximum of two years and surety of his safe life in jail. He will immediately surrender,” Kanhaiya Kumar Singhal told the publication.
The lawyer also reportedly claimed his client “believes in justice” but the previous proposed sentence is “not reasonable”.
Acting Attorney-General Gavin Jennings responded to the request on Friday night, giving no inclination that they will accept his offer with Victoria’s courts deciding on the correct punishment.
“Puneet Puneet needs to return to Victoria to face the consequences of his actions and we won’t rest until justice is served,” he said according to The Herald Sun.
The news outlet reported defence said he suffered from kidney problems and schizophrenia and was in a “fragile state of mind”.
“If he or his lawyers feel his mental state will not lead him into a safe environment, let him come forward so that we can verify this,” Bhaskar Valli, the advocate for the Union of India reportedly said.
He added: “This is not a man of good intent or bona fide character.”
Puneet is due to face court in Dehli, India on July 15.