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Victims’ families are in shock, but the accused is in trauma too: Bombay HC in Pune Porsche accident case, asks police why accused was confined despite bail

The bench questioned the procedure of remanding the minor to an observation home despite being granted bail. “What kind of remand is this? What is the authority behind this remand? How can someone be granted bail and then taken into custody?

The Bombay High Court on Friday acknowledged that the families of two IT professionals who died in the Porsche accident in Pune’s Kalyani Nagar last month are undoubtedly traumatized, but also noted that the accused teen involved in the accident was likely in “shock” as well. This observation was made during the hearing of a plea filed by the accused’s aunt, who is seeking his immediate release.

In her petition, the minor accused’s paternal aunt asserted that the Pune police had been unlawfully detaining the minor in a remand home and demanded his prompt release. She argued that the police were guilty of “abuse of process and blatant disregard for the rule of law.”

The 17-year-old, whom the police allege was intoxicated while driving the luxury Porsche that fatally struck two bike-riding techies, Aneesh Awadhiya and Ashwini Koshta, in the early hours of May 19, is currently held at an observation home in the city.

“There is no denying the unfortunate nature of the accident. The families of those who lost their lives are understandably in shock. However, the minor responsible for the accident, who was intoxicated at the time, is also traumatized. It is reasonable to assume that his mental state has been negatively impacted,” observed a division bench of Justices Bharati Dangre and Manjusha Deshpande during the hearing of the plea.

The bench questioned the procedure of remanding the minor to an observation home despite being granted bail. “What kind of remand is this? What is the authority behind this remand? How can someone be granted bail and then taken into custody? He is now confined to an observation home despite being granted bail. Is this not a form of confinement? We need to know the basis of your authority,” the High Court stated. The court reserved its order on the plea, which will be issued on June 25.

Last week, the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) extended the minor’s remand at the observation home until June 25. The boy’s parents are in police custody for allegedly swapping his blood samples at Sassoon General Hospital, with two doctors and a hospital employee also arrested for manipulating the samples. The boy’s grandfather, Surendra Agarwal, was arrested for allegedly kidnapping the family’s driver and pressuring him to take the blame for the accident.

The police have submitted their final report to the JJB, presenting all evidence against the minor. “We have provided comprehensive evidence to the JJB proving he was driving the Porsche from his house on the evening of May 19 until the accident occurred,” a crime branch officer said, adding that the report supports their plea to try the juvenile as an adult.

“The report includes corroborative statements from eyewitnesses, CCTV footage, and evidence of him consuming alcohol at Cosie Restaurant and Blak Club. It conclusively demonstrates that the juvenile, in an intoxicated state, was driving the car and caused the deaths of two riders,” he explained.

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