Pune Teen's Blood Sample Was Thrown In Dustbin, Forensic Head Arrested

Police have said the 17-year-old accused, son of a prominent Pune realtor, was heavily drunk at the time of the accident.


In the latest twist in the Pune Porsche horror, two doctors and a peon have been arrested for allegedly manipulating the blood test report of the 17-year-old, whose late night drunk drive left two 24-year-old software engineers dead.

Dr Ajay Tawade and Dr Hari Harnor of Sasoon Hospital have been arrested by the Pune Crime Branch, which is investigating the case that has sparked nationwide outrage. Pune Police Commissioner Amitesh Kumar told the media that samples collected at the hospital and sent for forensic tests were not of the juvenile accused at all. "This means the sample was replaced."

"Around 11 am on May 19, a blood sample (of the teen) that was taken at Sassoon Hospital was thrown in a dustbin and the blood sample of another person was taken and sent to the forensic lab. CMO Srihari Halnor replaced this blood sample. During the investigation, we found Srihari Halnor replaced this on the instructions of Ajay Tawade, HOD of forensic medicine department at Sassoon Hospital," Mr Kumar said.

The phones of both doctors have been seized. Investigation has revealed Dr Tawade and the teen accused's father spoke over the phone on the day of the accident, Mr Kumar told the media. 

Earlier, reports had claimed that the Pune teen, who is now at an observation home, had tested negative for alcohol. However, CCTV footage from one of the bars he visited that night showed him drinking with friends.

The Pune Police Commissioner had earlier said, "This case is not about an accident in which a mistake happened under the influence of alcohol and people died. Our case is that he had full knowledge that his conduct... he parties in two bars, rashly drives a car without a number plate on a narrow, congested street. He was fully in his senses, and he knew that people may die because of his actions." The city police chief also said that two samples of the teen accused's blood were tested at different times after the accident to ensure accurate results. 

According to police sources, the first blood sample had no alcohol, but the second did. This raised suspicions and a DNA test was conducted. The DNA test revealed the samples were from different people, meaning that the minor's blood sample was switched with that of another person to ensure that his report did not mention alcohol. 

The teen belongs to a prominent realtor's family and it is alleged that his father and grandfather tried to influence the legal process to shield him. The teen's father has been arrested under charges of the Juvenile Justice Act. His grandfather has also been arrested after the family's driver alleged that he was confined at the family's home, threatened and asked to take the blame for the accident. The other arrests in the case include staff of the two bars the teen visited that night. The doctors' arrest and allegations of manipulation of blood samples further strengthens the charge that the family blatantly used money and influence to protect the teen.

Two engineers -- Ashwini Kostha and Anish Awadhiya -- were on the bike when the Porsche hit their bike from behind. They died on the spot. The boy was granted bail within 15 hours of the accident on conditions seen as flimsy. He was asked to write a 300-word essay on road accidents, told to work with traffic cops for 15 days and seek counselling for his drinking habit.

Amid nationwide outrage, the Juvenile Justice Board later modified the order and sent him to the observation home. The police have urged the board for permission to try the teen accused -- aged 17 years and eight months -- as an adult. The matter is currently being examined. The families of the two engineers have said this is "murder, not accident" and sought stringent punishment for the accused.