Teen was fully in his senses, attempts made to show he wasn't behind wheel: Pune police chief

Attempts were made to project that the 17-year-old minor who allegedly crashed his Porsche car into a motorbike killing two persons was not at the wheel and instead, an adult was driving it at the time of the accident, said Pune Police Commissioner Amitesh Kumar on Friday.
Attempts were made to show teen was not behind wheel of Porsche: Pune police chief
Attempts were made to show teen was not behind wheel of Porsche: Pune police chief

Pune |Pune Police Commissioner Amitesh Kumar on Friday said there was an attempt to tamper with the evidence in the Porsche case to show that the 17-year-old who crashed his Porsche car into a motorbike killing two persons was not at the wheel and an adult was driving it.

There were attempts to make it appear as if the adult driver was driving the car, but that bid was foiled, Kumar told reporters.

“We have the CCTV footage of him (juvenile) drinking liquor in the pub. The point of saying this is that our case is not alone depending on the blood report as we have other evidence also,” the officer said.

"He (juvenile) was fully in his senses, He had full knowledge that due to his conduct, such an accident, where section 304 is applicable, can happen,” Kumar said.

On the allegations of preferential treatment given to the juvenile, Kumar said an ACP rank officer is investigating the claim.

On reports of the juvenile being served pizza after the incident, Kumar said, “We have clearly said that a pizza party didn't happen in the police station. But yes, something had happened on which we have initiated an internal investigation.” "We are trying to make this a water tight case. We have already filed a case against the father of accused and the bar owners. The technical analysis of the evidences is underway," he said.

He said an internal inquiry has pointed to lapses on the part of some cops while registering the case and action will be taken against them for destruction of evidence.

“During our investigation, it has clearly emerged that the juvenile was driving the car and we have already collected all the necessary chronological evidence. For example, when the juvenile left the house, the entry on the security register shows that he left with the car,” he said.

On the basis of technical and CCTV evidence, it is confirmed that the car was being driven by the juvenile, the police chief said.

Eyewitnesses have also corroborated that the teenager, son of real estate developer Vishal Agarwal, was driving the Porsche at the time of the accident, he said.

Kumar said attempts were made to show that an adult, the family driver, was at the wheel and not the teen when the vehicle fatally knocked down two persons in Pune's Kalyani Nagar area around 3 am on Sunday.

“We are investigating these things and will take action against those who made such attempts, under section 201 (destruction of evidence) of the IPC,” he said.

Asked about blood samples, Kumar said the juvenile was sent to Sassoon Hospital around 9 am on Sunday after an offence was registered. “There was a delay in taking blood samples as they were collected at 11 pm but the blood report is not the pillar of our case,” he said.

He said the case has been registered under IPC section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and that the juvenile was fully aware that driving in an inebriated state would lead to this kind of offence and people's lives would be lost.

As a pre-emptive measure, extra blood samples were collected for testing at another lab to ensure that both samples and DNA reports were of the same person.

“We have not received the blood reports but the process is being expedited,” he said.

In the initial FIR, section 304 A (death by negligence) was applied but it was revised with section 304 the same day as the crime warranted that section, he said.

An ACP-level officer is being entrusted with the probe to ascertain if there was any attempt to tamper with or destroy evidence.

He also said special counsels will be appointed to aggressively put forth the police side in court.

Kumar responded to complaints about lapses and allegations that some cops were “managed”, saying the police have taken a stringent approach from the beginning.

“So it is not correct to say there was pressure on police or dereliction on the part of cops. But a probe is underway to find out why section 304 was not added in the first place,” he said.

There are complaints that some eyewitnesses were pressured, he said. “If such things come to the fore, strict action will be taken against the police officer concerned,” he added.

After the accident, the minor was produced before the Juvenile Justice Board which granted him bail while asking him to write a 300-word essay.

Following an outcry over quick bail and the police's review plea, the Board on Wednesday remanded the teen, son of real estate developer Vishal Agarwal, to the observation home till June 5.

The police have also arrested the teenager's father.

Congress MLA Ravindra Dhangekar staged a protest outside the Police Commissioner's office on Thursday seeking Amitesh Kumar's resignation, claiming that the Porsche incident has maligned Pune's image.

Following the Porsche crash, the excise department launched a crackdown on bars and pubs in Pune. So far, 32 establishments have been sealed by officials.

This has sparked a protest by these establishments' owners and staff. On Friday morning, hundreds gathered in protest, claiming that the excise department's action has rendered 60,000 people jobless.

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