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Teen Porsche driver's father sent to police custody in driver abduction case

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Senjo M R
May 28, 2024 22:03 IST
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A three-member committee conducting inquiry into alleged manipulation of the blood samples of the juvenile driver involved in the Porsche car crash on Tuesday visited the Sassoon General Hospital in Pune, and also met the police officials who are probing the case.

IMAGE: The Porsche and motorcycle involved in the accident being kept at the Yerwada police station in Pune. Photograph: ANI Photo

In a related development, a local court remanded the father of the 17-year-old in police custody till May 31 in the case of 'kidnapping' of the family driver.


The committee headed by Dr Pallavi Sapale, dean of the Grant Medical College and J J group of hospitals, arrived at the Sassoon hospital earlier in the day.

"We will examine the sequence of events after the accident. The probe will be conducted as per the rules, and a report will be submitted to the government," Dr Sapale told reporters.

The police have arrested Dr Ajay Taware, head of the state-run hospital's forensic medicine department, chief medical officer Dr Shrihari Halnor and staff member Atul Ghatkamble for allegedly throwing away the minor's blood samples, taken after the accident on May 19, and replacing them with the samples of another person's blood which had no traces of alcohol.

The committee also visited the office of the Pune crime branch which has taken over the accident case.

"We will submit our observations to the state government and it is the prerogative of the government as to what action it wants to take," said Dr Sapale.

"We have been directed by the government to submit the report at the earliest," she added.

Sources said the committee members visited the casualty department and also understood the process of blood sample collection, its preservation and dispatch to the forensic science laboratory.

Two IT professionals were killed after their motorcycle was hit by a speeding Porsche car allegedly driven by the 17-year-old boy in the early hours of May 19 in Kalyani Nagar area in Pune.

The blood report is a key piece of evidence as police claim the teenager had visited two pubs prior to the incident.

On Tuesday, judicial magistrate first class AA Pande remanded builder Vishal Agarwal, the teenager's father, in police custody till May 31 in a case where he and his father Surendra Agarwal are accused of putting pressure on the family's driver to take blame for the accident to shield the boy.

Surendra Agarwal, the minor's grandfather, was already arrested in this case for allegedly kidnapping the driver and putting him in illegal confinement. On Tuesday, Magistrate Pande extended his police custody till May 31.

Vishal Agarwal (50) was earlier arrested under the Juvenile Justice Act for allegedly exposing the minor to danger by giving him a car.

Following Dr Taware's arrest, a 2023 letter from local Nationalist Congress Party MLA Sunil Tingre to Maharashtra medical education minister Hasan Mushrif, recommending that the doctor be given additional charge of medical superintendent, has surfaced.

In the letter dated December 26, 2023, Tingre said he knew Dr Taware who had worked as superintendent and discharged his duties well during the COVID-19 pandemic. "I request you to kindly consider giving the additional charge of medical superintendent to Taware," the letter stated.

The letter also had a handwritten note from Mushrif, directing the Sassoon hospital's dean to give the additional charge to Dr Taware.

Mushrif's note mentioned that, according to rules, a person of professor rank should be considered for the position, and the (then) medical superintendent did not fulfil the criteria.

On Tuesday, Tingre in a statement said that as he is an MLA, many people approach him for recommendation letters, and such letters issued by him always include a note that action should be taken according to the rules.

Questions were also raised after it emerged that Tingre visited the Yerawada police station after the May 19 accident. Police admitted that he visited the station, but claimed it did not have any impact on the probe.

State Congress chief Nana Patole, meanwhile, alleged that the Sassoon hospital was a "five-star hotel for criminals," and the Central Bureau of Investigation must investigate the car crash case as there seemed to be political interference to save the "rich accused." The juvenile was accompanied by an MLA's son in the car, he further claimed.

Patole also demanded the resignation of deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis who holds the Home portfolio.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Senjo M R© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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