How Pune Porsche Teen Went From Essay Writing To Observation Home In 3 Days

Pune Police Commissioner Amitesh Kumar told NDTV that the accused's blood test reports, which are yet to come in, are "not very important"

The Pune Porsche crash late on Saturday night left two 24-year-old engineers dead


Fifteen hours after a late-night Porsche dash in Pune left two 24-year-old software engineers dead, the 17-year-old at the wheels was at his home, thanks to a bail order with conditions that were widely seen as appallingly flimsy. Three days later, he is at a child observation home, waiting for a decision on whether he will be tried as an adult, and his father in jail.

On Sunday, hours after the chilling accident, the Juvenile Justice Board had granted bail to the teen, who was caught drinking on camera shortly before he drove the high-end car at over 240 km per hour, with a set of conditions. The conditions included writing a 300-word essay on "road accident and their solution", studying traffic rules for 15 days and attending counselling for his drinking habit and psychiatric treatment.

News of the bail and its conditions sparked massive outrage on social media, with many alleging that the teenager, son of a prominent Pune realtor, had been let off very lightly for a heinous crime that led to two untimely deaths. Pune police said they had urged the board for permission to try the accused as an adult, but it refused.

Amid growing outrage, police on Monday registered a case against the teen's father under the Juvenile Justice Act. A case was also registered against the owners and staff of two bars that served alcohol to the 17-year-old and his two friends.

The next day, the realtor father was arrested after GPS tracking foiled his elaborate escape plan that involved multiple vehicles. The bar owners and staff were taken into custody too. In a surprise visit, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis reached Pune to review the case. 

Responding to the Pune police's review petition, the Juvenile Justice Board issued a notice to the teenaged accused. During the hearing, the board modified its earlier order, remanding the accused in an observation home till June 5. On police's plea for permission to try him as an adult, the board has sought a reply from the defendant.

Speaking to NDTV, Pune Police Commissioner Amitesh Kumar said they moved two applications with the court on Sunday. "One was this that is a heinous crime and the accused must be tried as an adult. Our second application was that till the time this is decided, the accused must be at an observation home. These applications were disallowed that day. So we sought a review, we have got a favourable order on both counts today," he said.

The top cop said the accused's blood test reports, which are yet to come in, are "not very important". "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. Our case is under Section 304 of IPC which carries a jail term of 10 years. And this is not our stand after the media outrage, this is our stand since Sunday."

Mr Kumar said the accused's counsel has been asked to respond by tomorrow to the police plea of trying him as an adult. "We believe we will get the permission to try him as an adult," he said.

The accused's lawyer, Prashant Patil, told the media that the teenager will be at a rehabilitation home till June 5. "During this time, he will undergo counselling and other steps will be taken to bring him to the mainstream," he said.

In Madhya Pradesh, over a thousand kilometres away, the families of Ashwini Koshtha and Aneesh Awadhiya, who were killed in the accident, are living through their worst nightmare. The families have termed this "murder" and not an accident.

Speaking to NDTV, Aneesh's mother Savita Awadhiya broke down last night. "He killed my son. Now, I will never be able to meet my son," she said. "It is the boy's mistake, you can call it murder, because if he had not made such a big mistake, no one would have died. If only his family members had paid attention, today my son would have been alive. This is murder," she said.

Ashwini Koshta's mother Mamata Koshta told news agency PTI that she was very talented and had so many dreams. "We were supposed to send her off in a palanquin (to the groom's house) after her marriage. Now we are forced to carry her body on a bier," she said.

"We want justice for Ashwini. The minor boy and his parents should get stringent punishment. They have not raised him properly. They should have not given him the car," she said.