Pune Tragedy: Teen Remanded Amid Controversy Over Quick Bail and Alcohol Serving

A 17-year-old involved in a fatal car accident in Pune, which killed two IT professionals, has been remanded to an observation home amid public outcry over quick bail. His father and hotel employees are also in custody for allowing alcohol to the minor. Activists demand stricter actions.

PTI | Pune | Updated: 23-05-2024 09:32 IST | Created: 23-05-2024 09:32 IST
Pune Tragedy: Teen Remanded Amid Controversy Over Quick Bail and Alcohol Serving
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Following an outcry over quick bail, the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) has remanded a 17-year-old boy allegedly involved in a car accident in Kalyani Nagar area of the city that claimed two lives to an observation home till June 5.

Also, a sessions court on Wednesday remanded his father, a real estate developer, in police custody till May 24.

While the police said the JJB on Wednesday evening cancelled the bail granted to the minor three days ago, his lawyer claimed there was no cancellation of bail. There was no order yet on the police's application seeking permission to treat him as an adult accused.

The JJB on Sunday granted bail to the teeanger hours after the Porsche car allegedly driven by him knocked down a motorbike killing its two riders -both IT professionals in their 20s. It also asked him to write a 300-word essay on road accidents, an order that drew an onslaught of criticism.

Police then approached the JJB again, seeking a review of its order.

''As per the operative order issued by the JJ Board, it has sent the minor to the observation home till June 5. The order on our plea to allow police to treat him as an adult (accused) has not been received yet,'' Police Commissioner Amitesh Kumar said on Wednesday.

Advocate Prashant Patil, who represented the juvenile at the JJB hearing, said the bail granted on Sunday has not been cancelled. ''It is a modification of the earlier order....Cancellation of bail means setting aside the earlier order and taking the person in custody. Here, it is not a custody. It is a rehab home,'' he told reporters.

Police told the three-member board that the teenager should stay at a rehabilitation home as there could be a threat to his life if he stayed outside, Patil said, adding that the defence opposed the police's plea.

According to Patil, the process of deciding whether a juvenile should be treated as an adult accused can take at least two months as reports of psychiatrists and counsellors among others are called for, and then the JJB gives its decision.

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.

As per the police, he was drunk at the time.

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

As per the police, the teenager, before the accident, had allegedly consumed alcohol at the hotel.

The police registered a case against his father 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 Sunday's accident for ''serving alcohol to an underage person''.

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

According to the FIR, the real estate developer gave his son the car despite knowing that the boy did not have a driving license, thus endangering his life, and allowed him to party even while knowing that he drinks alcohol.

Meanwhile, activist Prince Singhal, the founder of Community Against Drunken Driving (CADD), a non-profit organisation, in a statement on Wednesday said he has written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah to take cognisance of the Pune accident case and direct for action against the guilty.

The activist said he has sought the minister's immediate intervention into the case ''which was wrong at so many levels''. ''The minor went to two night clubs and had alcohol, and this was only possible because bars and pubs do not maintain mandatory age checks and serve to anyone who pays money. These establishments are not penalised for this by the excise department,'' he claimed.

The minor was allowed to leave the bar premises in a drunken state and no one stopped him from driving in an inebriated condition, Singhal further claimed.

''Even after the arrest, alcohol test was not done immediately on the minor as should be done within the first two hours. For the same, the investigating officer should be held liable and arrested,'' he added.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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