Refusing bail to the three men who travelled with Shaji Purushothaman in the >Mercedes on the night of the accident (May 23), the Sessions Court said there was compelling evidence against them.
According to the prosecution, the fact that Shaji did not heed the warning of patrolling officers, coupled with the statements of witnesses, proved his friends had instigated him to speed.
After the accident, the three men — R.M. Kumar, Anil Rao and Syed Anwar — who travelled in the car were arrested. They have been in custody for two weeks now.
The prosecution said the three men and Shaji had been drunk on the night of the accident. Shaji’s reckless driving resulted in the death of a boy, injured three others and caused damage to several vehicles.
The three men had instigated Shaji to ‘fly like an aeroplane’, the prosecution said.
Even before they got into the car at Elconso Apartments, the four men had engaged in loud chatter attracting the attention of a watchman and some police personnel on bandobust duty. The policemen warned them against driving the car in a drunken state.
“The perusal of witnesses’ statements recorded by the police under section 161 of the criminal procedure code reveals the same. These petitioners and Shaji did not care to heed the warning of the police patrol,” said N. Kaliyamurthy, VI Additional Sessions Judge.
Refusing to accept their claims that they had no role in the incident, the Judge said, “They owe some responsibility and should have instructed Shaji not to drive the vehicle in a reckless way that caused a serious accident.”
Mr. Kaliyamurthy said, since Shaji, the driver-cum-owner of the vehicle, was yet to be apprehended, the release of the three men on bail could jeopardise the investigation.
Warrant against Shaji
On Friday, the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court in Egmore issued a warrant against Shaji, the main accused in the Mercedes accident case, who is absconding.
The court issued the warrant for Shaji’s arrest to the investigating officer.