Juvenile board allows Pune police to investigate minor in Porsche crash case

PUNE: The Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) here on Friday allowed police to investigate the minor allegedly involved in the Porsche crash that left two techies dead, an official said.

The police had written to the JJB seeking permission to probe the 17-year-old who is currently in the observation home.

“The hearing took place before the JJ board and it allowed our plea,” said Shailesh Balkawade, additional Commissioner of Police (crime).

Police claim the teenager was driving the luxury car in an inebriated state when it hit two IT professionals on a motorbike in the city’s Kalyani Nagar area in the early hours of May 19.

Under the Juvenile Justice Act, inquiry of a minor has to be conducted in the parents’ presence.

The JJB granted bail to the teenager, son of real estate developer Vishal Agarwal, a few hours after the May 19 crash and asked him to write a 300-word essay on road safety. Amid a nationwide outcry, police again approached the JJB, which modified the order and sent him to the observation home till June 5.

After the bail was given to the juvenile by a single member of the JJ Board, the Maharashtra government set up a committee to probe the conduct of the JJB members and check if norms were followed while issuing orders in the Pune car crash case.

The committee, headed by a deputy commissioner, will submit its report by next week, said Prashant Narnavare, commissioner of the Women and Child Department.

The JJB comprises a member from the judiciary and two persons appointed by the state government. The current enquiry has been set up to probe the conduct of the state-appointed members, the official said.

The minor’s father Vishal Agarwal and grandfather Surendra Agarwal have been arrested for allegedly wrongfully confining the family’s driver after the accident, offering him cash and gifts for taking blame (and shielding the minor), and also threatening him.

The police have also arrested two doctors and a staffer from Sassoon General Hospital here for allegedly manipulating the teenager’s blood samples to show that he was not drunk at the time of the accident.

Police on Friday moved an application for Vishal Agarwal’s custody in connection with the alleged switching of the blood samples. Earlier in the day, Judicial Magistrate (First Class) A A Pande remanded the real estate developer and his father (the minor’s grandfather) in judicial custody for 14 days after their police custody in the driver kidnapping case got over.

As per the police, about a dozen calls were exchanged between the juvenile’s father and Dr Ajay Taware, one of the arrested doctors, while samples were being collected for testing for alcohol consumption. (PTI)

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