Grandfather who acted as surety for Pune teen’s bail questioned in Porsche case

A top Pune Police official has said that an order is awaited on the 17-year-old boy, who fatally knocked down two motorcycle-borne software engineers with his Porsche car in Pune, to be tried as an adult in the case.
Grandfather who acted as surety for Pune teen’s bail questioned in Porsche case
Anjali Raj / Jaano Junction

Pune crime branch has questioned Surendra Agarwal, the grandfather of the 17-year-old boy who fatally knocked down two motorcycle-borne software engineers with his Porsche car in Pune earlier this week. The police questioned the grandfather in connection with the FIR registered in the matter in which the teenager's father, Vishal Agarwal, had also been arrested.

Surendra Agarwal was named as an accused in a firing incident that took place in 2008 and is alleged to have links to underworld don Chota Rajan. The police are questioning him to know more about his son and grandson, and conversations he had with them on the day of the accident to dig deeper into the case.

Meanwhile, a top Pune Police official has said that an order is awaited on the 17-year-old boy to be tried as an adult in the case. He was sent to a Children's Observation Centre for 15 days until June 5 after a juvenile court cancelled his bail on Wednesday evening.

Previously, as well, Pune Police had demanded that the minor accused should be tried as an adult on the basis of the crime during prosecution.

Pune Police Commissioner Amitesh Kumar said they had "filed a review application before the Juvenile Justice Board to allow the juvenile to be tried as an adult and also to send him to a remand home".

"The operative order was communicated to us by the Juvenile Justice Board and the said juvenile accused has been sent to the remand home for 15 days, till June 5. The order of him being tried as an adult is awaited at the moment," he added.

Also on Wednesday evening, the teen driver's lawyer, Prashant Patil told reporters that a parameter has been set by the Juvenile Justice Board for the accused as to what needs to be done during his 15-day remand at the correctional home, which includes counselling by a psychiatrist or a psychologist.

"We will get the written order tomorrow (Thursday)," he added.

The teen was produced before the juvenile court after a new case was registered against him under section 185 for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Meanwhile, a sessions court earlier on Wednesday remanded Vishal Agarwal (50), the minor's father, and two employees of Hotel Black Club, Nitesh Shevani and Jayesh Gavkar, in police custody till May 24.

Here are the latest developments:

According to lawyer Prashant Patil, the police told the three-member board during yesterday's hearing that the teenager should stay at a rehabilitation home as there could be a threat to his life if he stayed outside. He added that the defence opposed the police's plea.

The process of deciding whether a juvenile should be treated as an adult accused can take at least two months as reports from psychiatrists and counsellors are required, after which the Juvenile Justice Board takes a final decision on the case, Patil added.

The police have registered an FIR against the minor under IPC sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 304 A (causing death by negligence), 279 (rash driving) and relevant sections of the Motor Vehicles Act. According to the police, the teenager was drunk at the time of the accident on Sunday.

A case against the accused minor's father, Vishal Agarwal, under sections 75 and 77 of the Juvenile Justice Act, and against the owner and employees of two bars which the boy had visited before the accident for "serving alcohol to an underage person".

While section 75 deals with "willful neglect of a child, or exposing a child to mental or physical illnesses", section 77 deals with supplying a child with intoxicating liquor or drugs.

The police FIR says that Vishal Agarwal, a real estate developer, gave his son the luxury sports vehicle despite knowing that the boy did not have a driving licence, thus endangering his life, and allowed him to party even while knowing that he consumed alcohol.

The prosecution demanded police custody of seven days for Agarwal and the other two, stating that the police wanted to investigate why the real estate developer allowed his son to drive the car which did not have a number plate.

Meanwhile, a political slugfest has erupted in connection to the case, with Maharashtra deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis slamming Congress MP Rahul Gandhi over the latter's "very cheap attempt to politicise this incident because, in the Pune incident, the police took immediate action".

"The attempt by Rahul Gandhi to bring vote politics into everything is very wrong," Fadnavis said.

On his part, Rahul Gandhi had said if an ordinary truck or cab driver were to cause the accident, he would be jailed for years, but there was different justice for the son of a rich man. He further said that Congress wanted to change this system.

Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi leader Prakash Ambedkar claimed that police spent more time asking questions about the relationship between the two software engineers who died in the accident, "while the accused was allegedly served burger and pizza".

Anish Awadhiya and Ashwini Koshta, both 24-year-old, hailing from Madhya Pradesh and working in Pune, were riding on a motorbike when the Porsche allegedly driven by the teenager hit them near Kalyani Nagar junction in the early hours of Sunday.

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Grandfather who acted as surety for Pune teen’s bail questioned in Porsche case

According to the police FIR, Koshta died on the spot, while Awadhiya succumbed to injuries at the hospital.

Source: ANI

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