15-day social service as punishment for teen ‘shocking’: Fadnavis on Pune Porsche crash


PTI, May 21, 2024, 7:36 PM IST

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has promised strong action against the teen who crashed his high-end car into a motorbike, killing two people on the spot.

Terming the approach of the Juvenille Justice Board in the Pune car crash case as “lenient and surprising,” Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday expressed his shock that the accused minor was asked to do social service for 15 days as punishment.

The Juvenile Justice Board had asked the teen to write 300-word essay on accidents, working with the traffic police for 15 days and undergoing counselling for his drinking – in contrast with the heinous crime. “How can the Juvenile Justice (JJ) Board give such an order,” he asked.

Addressing the media, Fadnavis who also holds the home portfolio, said the police remand application placed before the Board mentioned that since the minor was 17 years-and-eight-months old, he should be treated as an adult.

“In the remand application, it was clearly mentioned that the case filed was under section 304 (culpable homicide) and not 304 A,” he said, and added that the approach of the Juvenille Justice Board towards the police remand application was shocking for both citizens and the administration.

The Porsche car allegedly driven by the 17-year-old, who the police claim was drunk at the time, knocked down two IT professionals in Kalyani Nagar area of the city in the early hours of Sunday.

The minor, son of a prominent realtor in Pune, was seen drinking with his friends at a bar hours before the crash. The police have arrested the owners of the bar for allowing underage drinking. The legal drinking age in Maharashtra is 25.

The boy had gone to “two restaurants with 10-12 friends on Saturday night, where they were served alcohol”, the police said.

“The minor is 17 years 8 months old and as per the Nirbhaya case anyone above 16-year-old above should be considered as adult in case of heinous crimes,” stressed the Deputy Chief Minister.

Fadnavis’s remarks come a day after he called up Pune Police Commissioner Amitesh Kumar and asked him to ensure there was no soft-pedalling against the accused in the Porsche hit-and-run case.

Fadnavis also detailed the government’s steps to avoid similar incidents in future: “Administration has been alerted to take closure action against those pubs where violations are found and drink driving checks by police on important places.”

The police produced the accused before the holiday court in Pune on Sunday afternoon. They sought his custody and permission to try the accused as an adult, but the court refused and granted bail to the accused, said Manoj Patil, Additional Commissioner of Police.

The accused’s lawyer Prashan Patil said the court granted bail to his client under certain conditions. When asked about the bail conditions, Patil said the court told the accused to “work with traffic police of Yerwada for 15 days” and “write an essay on accident”. As per the bail conditions, the accused was also directed to undergo treatment from a doctor to help him quit drinking and “take psychiatric counselling” and submit the report to the court, Patil said.

The accident has also sparked a political row with Uddhav Thackeray camp leader Sanjay Raut questioning the Pune Police over the alleged delay in action against the teen.

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