Pune Porsche Crash: Latest update

The police probe revealed that Vishal Agarwal, the father of the accused, had paid a bribe of Rs 3 lakh to the ward boy, Atul Ghatkamble, at Sassoon Hospital, on the premises of the Juvenile Justice Board. This bribe was to swap the minor’s blood sample with his mother’s to conceal the fact that the teen was drunk-driving.

| Updated: 13 June, 2024 10:40 pm IST

NEW DELHI: The police probe revealed that Vishal Agarwal, the father of the accused, had paid a bribe of Rs 3 lakh to the ward boy, Atul Ghatkamble, at Sassoon Hospital, on the premises of the Juvenile Justice Board. This bribe was to swap the minor’s blood sample with his mother’s to conceal the fact that the teen was drunk-driving.

Ghatkamble accepted the bribe on the advice of Dr. Ajay Taware, the head of the hospital’s Forensic Medicine department, and Dr. Shrihari Halnor, the chief medical officer of the state-run hospital. Both doctors from Sassoon General Hospital are under police arrest for investigation.

During the investigation, the Pune Crime Branch seized CCTV footage of the transaction that occurred at the JJB premises. The Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) report indicated no alcohol in the first blood sample, which raised the suspicions. Subsequently, a second blood test was conducted at another hospital, and DNA tests confirmed the samples were from two different individuals.

ALSO READ: Doctors arrested in Pune porsche crash scandal

The Pune Crime Branch has also arrested Ashfaq Makandar in connection with the case. It is said that Makandar and Amar Gaikwad acted as middlemen between the accused doctors and Vishal Agarwal.

On May 20, Makandar, a close aide of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLA Sunil Tingre, who is with the Ajit Pawar faction of the party, received a call instructing him to “help Vishal Agarwal” before he arrived at Sassoon Hospital. Subsequently, a phone call took place between Makandar and Dr. Taware. Investigators are now probing who directed Makandar to the hospital on May 20 and the identity of the caller who asked Makandar to assist Vishal Agarwal.

Further investigation on Dr. Ajay Taware revealed that he had an extensive network of brokers across Maharashtra’s western region who brought to him cases which needed to be expedited in return of which he pocketed a bribe.

This indicates that there are possibly more cases of bureaucratic cover-ups where Dr Ajay Taware could have been involved.

ALSO READ: Mother appeals for son’s safety; grandfather questioned in Pune porsche crash

Pune Porsche drunk driving case occurred on May 19 when a speeding Porsche, allegedly driven by a minor, collided with a motorcycle, claiming the lives of two individuals. Initial reports suggested that the teenager was intoxicated at the time of the accident. Despite being granted bail initially, public outcry and police scrutiny led to the minor being placed in an observation home until June 5.

The teenager’s family has come under fire for allegedly pressuring their driver to take the blame for the accident. The grandfather of the accused was arrested for illegally confining the driver, who was coerced into making a false statement implicating himself as the driver of the Porsche.

Following the accident, the driver initially claimed responsibility but later, it was revealed that the teenager was behind the wheel. This revelation has further complicated the legal proceedings surrounding the case.

Parents of the minor, Father who is a realtor Vishal Agrawal and mother Shivani are in custody till June 14. Shivani Agarwal was arrested on June 1 after revelation that the boy’s blood samples were replaced with hers. Her husband Vishal Agrawal was arrested for allegedly being involved in destruction of evidence. However, the minor boy is in an observation home.

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