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Pune Car Crash: Bombay High Court orders release of minor boy

The age of the boy needs to be considered and CCLs (Child in Conflict with Law) are to be considered differently, a division bench of the Bombay High Court comprising Justice Bharati Dangre and Justice Manjusha Deshpande said.
Last Updated : 25 June 2024, 09:49 IST

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Mumbai: In a significant development, the Bombay High Court on Tuesday ordered the release of the minor boy who was involved in the sensational Porsche car crash of Pune in May 2024.

The age of the boy needs to be considered and CCLs (Child in Conflict with Law) are to be considered differently, a division bench of the Bombay High Court comprising Justice Bharati Dangre and Justice Manjusha Deshpande said.

The boy, aged 17 years-and-nine-months, would be in the care and custody of his paternal aunt. The court also ruled that the counselling sessions of the boy would continue.

As of now, the boy is in custody of the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Udyog Kendra, a juvenile rehabilitation/correctional home.

The division bench allowed a habeas corpus writ petition filed by Pooja Jain, the paternal aunt of the boy.

According to the court, the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) order was illegal and without jurisdiction to send him to observation home once he has been granted bail.

"We allow the petition and order his release. The CCL (Child in Conflict with Law) shall be in the care and custody of the petitioner (paternal aunt)," the court said.

“….(as an) immediate reaction to the accident, the knee jerk reaction and the public outcry, the CCL's age was not considered, the CCL is under 18 years old. His age needs to be considered,” the division bench observed.

In her plea, the petitioner claimed that because of the public uproar coupled with political agenda, the police deviated from the right course of investigation with regard to the minor boy, thus defeating the entire purpose of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act.

His counsel Abad Ponda said that once a juvenile has been granted bail he cannot be remanded to an observation home, and emphasised that the bail was operative till date since the boy had not been re-arrested on any additional charges nor was the bail given to him cancelled by a higher court.

However, Public Prosecutor Hiten Venegaonkar said that the boy was released in the custody of his grandfather and not on his own bail bond, but since the grandfather and even the parents were in custody, the minor had to be sent to the observation home under the supervision of a probation officer.

On 19 May, 2024 around 2 30 hours, the minor boy, after visiting two pubs namely Cosie and Blak in the upscale Koregaon Park area, drove the high-end Porsche Taycan at a speed of over 200 kmph.

He hit a motorcycle along the Landmark Society on Kalyani Nagar-Airport Road in Pune, killing Aneesh Awadhiya and Ashwini Koshta, both aged 24, working as IT engineers in Johnson Controls as data analysts, who were returning after partying.

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Published 25 June 2024, 09:49 IST

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