In a bail petition before the Principal Sessions Court here on Monday, Shaji Purushothaman claimed that he was not driving the Mercedes that was involved in accident in Egmore on May 23 and that co-accused Kumar was at the wheel.

The police had claimed after his custodial interrogation that Shaji had admitted that he was driving the vehicle that ran over a 13-year-old boy who died and left a girl wounded.

Raising additional grounds in his petition, Shaji said the mishap occurred when Kumar swerved to the left in order to avoid a head-on collision with a police patrol vehicle coming in the opposite direction.

He said that he had left home that night on receiving a phone call at 12.30 a.m. that one of his relatives had fainted. The incident occurred when he, along with his friends, were nearing a maternity hospital at Egmore

Shaji also claimed that he was in the front seat. He went to the police station as requested by police and then went home after the enquiry. Even though Kumar was arrested the same day for a bailable offence as per the FIR, he was not released on bail for reasons best known to the police.

When Kumar filed a bail petition on May 24, the police filed a report that one of the injured had died and that the offence had been altered to one under 304(ii) of IPC. In the alteration report, he and his friends, who were passengers in the car, were also shown as accused.

Denying any hit-and-run theory, Shaji termed the incident “purely a road traffic accident.”

He said the driver was arrested at the scene of the occurrence and the other passengers were available for probe. Being a lawful citizen, he had accompanied the driver to the police station and attended the police enquiry.

Accusing the police of ulterior motives, Shaji said he was shown as accused no. 1 only because he was the son of a top industrialist. He was only a passenger and had nothing to do with accident.

The bail petition will come up for hearing on Tuesday before the Principal Sessions Court.