India Porsche deaths: Outrage at bail granted to underage 'drunk driver' in Pune

Teenager is asked to write road safety essay and do voluntary traffic work, after collision kills couple on motorbike

A screengrab shows the damaged Porche involved in the deadly crash in Pune. Photo: X
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An Indian court granted bail to an affluent 17-year-old accused of killing a couple when he crashed his Porsche in the western city of Pune, leading to outrage on social media.

The judge asked the teenager, who is alleged to have been drunk at the time of the incident, to write an essay on road safety and do voluntary traffic work.

The incident occurred on Sunday when the student, whose identity cannot be revealed under the country’s juvenile law, was out with friends in the luxury car.

He was allegedly drunk and travelling more than 200kph when he crashed into Aneesh Awadhiya and Ashwini Koshta, both 24, who were on a motorcycle.

Ms Koshta was thrown into the air by the force of the crash, witnesses told police.

Mr Awadhiya also crashed into parked cars. Ms Koshta and Mr Awadhiya died of their injuries.

The teenage driver and a friend were caught by passers-by who attacked them before police arrived. Another person who was in the car was said to have escaped.

Police registered a case of manslaughter against the teenager.

The Juvenile Justice Board, a special court where minors are tried, granted him bail within 14 hours on several conditions, including working alongside traffic police for 15 days and writing a 300-word essay on the "effect of road accidents and their solution".

Police on Tuesday arrested the teenager's father, Vishal Agarwal, a prominent real estate developer, for giving the car to his underage son, who did not have a driving licence.

Police sought to prosecute the 17-year-old as an adult.

“Anyone found supporting the accused shall be dealt with severe punishment," Pune police commissioner Amitesh Kumar said. "The guilty shall be punished irrespective of his economic strata.”

The incident has led to criticism India's legal system, with many social media users ridiculing the ruling.

“The court grants bail to the accused within a few hours and asks him to write an essay on the accident,” Radhika Chaudhary said on X. "The Indian judiciary system applies differently to the rich and poor."

Another user, Ajeet Singh Patel, wrote: “The judiciary of India has increasingly become a puppet of the rich, failing to deliver justice to the poor."

Indian roads are considered to be among the deadliest in the world. The country has 1 per cent of the world’s vehicles but accounts for 11 per cent of global road accident deaths, the World Bank estimates.

Seventy per cent of the victims are between the ages of 18 and 45.

More than 461,000 road accidents were recorded in India in 2022, killing about 170,000 people and causing 443,000 injuries, the latest government data shows.

Indian authorities have tried to tackle the problem by imposing steep penalties after amending road laws in 2019, and the government also promised to revamp road infrastructure and improve vehicle safety.

Updated: May 21, 2024, 11:40 AM