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Meet LN Danwade, non-judicial member of Juvenile Justice Board who asked Pune Porsche road rash accused teen to write an essay as bail condition

While SIT has launched a probe into the role of the JJB members, especially of LN Danwade, he has been avoiding media queries, and was seen riding a two-wheeler without a helmet

In the high-profile Pune Porsche hit-and-run case, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) will investigate the conduct of the Juvenile Justice Board members to examine whether the norms were followed in granting bail and imposing conditions for the same. Dr LN Danwade, a non-judicial member of JJB, has come into focus as he had issued bail orders for the accused teenager, prompting the government to constitute the SIT.

It was LN Danwade who asked the 17-year-old accused to write a 300-word essay on road safety as a bail condition. This absurd bail condition and celerity in granting bail to the teen, who on 19th May allegedly killed two people with his high-speed Porsche car, brought the case to the focal point in the media and soon it sparked a nationwide discussion. The JJB’s apathy towards the deceased victims outraged the nation into pondering if it was the time for crucial judicial reforms. The leniency demonstrated in punishing the accused shocked even the deputy chief minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis.

As the case snowballed, the Juvenile Board on 22nd May heard the case again and after hearing arguments from both sides, decided to cancel bail and sent the accused to observation home till 5th of June.

Notably, LN Danwade passed the controversial order since the Principal Magistrate and the second non-judicial member were not present due to a holiday. A Juvenile Justice Board consists of a judicial member, a Principal Magistrate, and two non-judicially appointed members who are social workers.

LN Danwade had served as superintendent at Balagram ‘SOS’ Children’s Village in Raigad before joining the Juvenile Justice Board. During his tenure, a minor girl allegedly committed suicide resulting in his suspension. He then moved to Pune and joined the Pune Bal Kalyan Samiti. The recommendation was made by a senior official from the Women and Child Development Commissionerate. He was appointed to the Juvenile Justice Board after working for the Pune Bal Kalyan Samiti for three years.

It has been reported that LN Danwade flouted the rules and unilaterally granted bail to the accused within half an hour without consulting the JJB’s supervisory officer. Danwade heard the bail plea alone even as the board members are required to be present during the hearing. In addition to this, LN Danwade did not, reportedly, take inputs from Chief Magistrate Manasi Pardeshi and second-appointed member KT Thorat.

While media has been trying to talk to LN Danwade over the matter, he has been avoiding them. Videos have surfaced showing him running away from reporters. Notably, in one of the videos, he is seen riding a scooter without a helmet. This suggests that he has no high regard for traffic laws.

When Times Now reporter Abhishek Awasthi managed to confront him, he said that the ‘everything is judicial’ and he does not want to say anything.

As reported earlier, on the 19th of May, the 17-year-old son of a rich builder killed two young motorcycle-borne engineers Aneesh Awadhia and Ashwini Koshta while driving his swanky Porsche car under the influence of alcohol. The accused tried to flee after hitting the deceased victims, however, locals caught hold of him, and thrashed him before turning him over to the police. While two innocent people lost their lives, the accused teenager who is the son of builder, Vishal Agarwal of Brahma Realty and Infrastructure, got bail within 15 hours of his arrest.

The Juvenile Justice Board asked him to work with a traffic police official for 2 weeks and attend psychiatric counselling sessions. The teen was also asked to write a 300-word essay on road accidents and create traffic awareness boards.

The Maharashtra government has now formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the conduct of the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) members. The role of the police also have also come into question in the case, and two cops have been suspended for dereliction of duty. Police Inspector Rahul Jagdale and Assistant Police Inspector Vishwanath Todkari mishandled the investigation and failed to inform the wireless control room about the incident in time, as per Pune police. Two doctors of a Pune hospital along with a hospital staff also have been arrested for swapping the blood sample of the accused, to prove that he was not drunk. The doctors used the blood of the teen’s mother to perform the tests, and discarded the blood sample of the accused.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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