Pune car accident: After public outrage, Juvenile Justice Board cancels bail of accused minor

A local court sent the minor’s father, a prominent city-based realtor, to a three-day police remand till May 24

Updated - May 22, 2024 11:32 pm IST

Published - May 22, 2024 09:14 pm IST - Pune

The Porsche car involved in the accident on May 19, 2024.

The Porsche car involved in the accident on May 19, 2024. | Photo Credit: ANI

Following a public furore, the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) on Wednesday, in a revised judgement cancelled the bail of the accused 17-year-old, whose speeding luxury car had knocked down and killed two persons in the city’s upmarket Kalyani Nagar area on May 19.

The minor - whose reckless driving of an unregistered Porsche car under the influence of alcohol resulted in the deaths of two IT employees in their mid-20s - was sent to an observation home till June 5.

A local court sent the minor’s father, a prominent city-based realtor, to a three-day police remand till May 24 along with two employees of the bar which served liquor to the minor and his friends.

A high-voltage drama ensued outside the Pune court as members of a social outfit tried to throw ink on the realtor as he was being escorted to the courtroom.

The JJB’s earlier order, granting the minor bail barely 15 hours after the incident on May 19, had sparked intense public outrage while resulting in a political slanging match between the opposition and the ruling parties at the state and even the national level. The minor had been granted bail by the JJB on a surety of ₹7,500 and an assurance from his grandfather to keep him away from “bad company”, as per the order.

The JJB, while asking the accused to write a 300-word essay on road accidents, had directed him to visit the Regional Transport Office to study rules and regulations.

Meanwhile, skeletons continue to tumble from the closet of the minor’s family after it transpired that the boy’s grandfather had underworld links with gangster Chhota Rajan and was presently facing trial in a shootout case for allegedly making payments to the gangster.

The grandfather, who is currently out on bail, allegedly had a bitter and long-running property feud with his brother. He had even travelled to Bangkok to meet with Chhota Rajan’s henchman, Vijay Purushottam Salvi alias Vijay Tambat, in an attempt to settle the dispute.

All cases related to Chhota Rajan have been consolidated and are being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), with a special trial court in Mumbai designated to hear them. The case of the minor’s grandfather from Pune is among those being tried alongside that of Chhota Rajan’s since 2021.

Maharashtra Deputy CM and Home Minister Devendra Fadnavis assured that any such connections that the boy’s family may have had will be thoroughly probed.

Meanwhile, the politicization of the Porsche car accident continued at the national level after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi posted a video of the incident in which he said that if an ordinary bus, truck, auto, or any Ola and Uber cab driver accidentally killed someone, they were sentenced to 10 years in jail.

“But if a 16 or 17-year-old son of a wealthy family, driving a Porsche under the influence of alcohol is caught, he is asked to write an essay,” Mr. Gandhi said, adding, “Why aren’t essays assigned to truck drivers or bus drivers?”

Hitting out at Mr. Gandhi, Mr. Fadnavis said that the Congress leader’s video was a “low-level attempt” to politicise the incident.

“The police have done whatever is necessary in this case. This puerile attempt by Rahul Gandhi to seek votes by bringing in electoral politics into every issue by is wrong and I condemn this,” Mr. Fadnavis said.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra Transport Commissioner Vivek Bhimanwar has said that the 17-year-old accused will be barred from getting a driving licence till the age of 25. 

Maharashtra transport department authorities also revealed that the permanent registration of the luxury Porsche Taycan involved in the accident had been pending since March due to non-payment of ₹1,758 fees by the owner. The Porsche had been imported in March by a dealer in Bengaluru and from there was sent to Maharashtra on a temporary registration.

In the aftermath of the tragic incident, the Pune Municipal Corporation took down two pubs, Waters and Orilla, in the upmarket Koregaon Park area of the city during an anti-encroachment action.

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