Pune Porsche Accident: Story So Far

24 May 2024  Read 1533 Views

In a tragic incident in Pune, a 17-year-old driving a Porsche while drunk hit a motorbike and killed two people in Pune. The case drew a lot of public anger when the Juvenile Justice Board granted the minor bail just 15 hours after his arrest. 

However, later, the Board changed its decision, cancelled the bail, and sent the minor to an observation home until 5 June 2024. This blog explores what has happened so far, whether the teen accused in this case can be tried as an adult, and what the law says about it.

Here's what we know about the case so far

1. On 19 May, a Porsche driven by a juvenile killed two motorbike riders in Pune. The victims were IT professionals from Madhya Pradesh.

2. The incident gained public attention when a friend of the victims filed an FIR about the Porsche accident at the Yerwada Police Station in Pune.

3. The CCTV footage showed that the teenager, the son of a real estate developer, was drunk and driving at an estimated speed of 160 km/h when he crashed into the victim's motorcycle.

4. On 21 May, the Pune police arrested the father under Sections 75 and 77 of the Juvenile Justice Act for letting his underage son drink alcohol and drive the Porsche while drunk. Additionally, the police used the Motor Vehicle Act to allow a minor to drive without a license. The court has placed the man in police custody until 24 May.

5. Also, the Pune Excise Department shut down the Cosie Bar and the Black Bar in Pune, as officials claimed these establishments had allegedly served alcohol to the minor before the accident.

6. Initially, the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) granted the minor bail with specific conditions: he had to work with traffic police in Yerwada for 15 days, write an essay on accidents, undergo treatment for his drinking problem, and attend counselling sessions. However, after the police requested a review of this decision, the JJB cancelled the minor's bail and sent him to an observation home.

Charges Filed Against Minor in Pune Porsche Accident

The FIR against the minor was registered under sections of the Indian Penal Code 1860:- 

Section 304A- Causing death by negligence

Section 279- Rash Driving

Sections 337 and 338- Causing hurt by endangering life 

Section 427- Mischief

He is also booked under sections of the Motor Vehicles Act:-

Section 184- Driving Dangerously

Section 119- Duty to obey traffic signs

Section 177- general provision for punishment of offences. 

Following that, the authorities have charged the minor with additional sections, including section 304 of the IPC (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and section 185 of the Motor Vehicle Act (driving under the influence of alcohol).

The police moved a review application before the Board under Section 104 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, asking for the minor to be tried as an adult as he committed a 'heinous crime'.

How does a child get tried as an adult?

The Juvenile Justice Board, as per Section 15 of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015, determines if a juvenile (who is under 18 years of age at the time of committing the offence) should be tried as an adult. There are three types of crimes for which a child can be tried:

A. Petty Offences: These are crimes with imprisonment of up to 3 years under the Indian Penal Code, ex-causing death by negligence, assault, or forgery.

B. Serious Offences: These crimes are where the punishment under IPC is:

a. 3 to 7 years imprisonment ex-attempt to commit culpable homicide, causing grievous hurt, cheating, etc

b. more than 7 years of imprisonment, but with no specified minimum imprisonment or a minimum imprisonment of than 7 years, ex-culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

C. Heinous Offences: These are the most serious crimes with a minimum punishment of 7 years or more in prison under the IPC ex- murder, rape, dacoity.

According to the 2015 Act, juveniles charged with heinous crimes and who are between the ages of 16 - 18 years can be tried as adults. 

As per Section 15, if a child allegedly commits a heinous crime, the Juvenile Justice Act provides the Board to conduct a preliminary assessment regarding his mental and physical capacity to commit such an offence, ability to understand the consequences of the offence and the circumstances in which he allegedly committed the crime.

Was the instant bail granted to the teen lawful?

The accused is charged under Section 304 of the IPC, which carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment but does not specify a minimum punishment. Offences of this nature are classified as 'Serious Offences' under Section 2(54) of the Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act, 2015. A juvenile cannot be tried as an adult for Serious Offences; they can only be tried as an adult for 'Heinous Offences'.

Therefore, in accordance with the provisions of the JJ Act, the accused is entitled to immediate bail, which has been lawfully granted.

What happens if a juvenile is treated as an adult?

Once a decision is made, the case is transferred to the children's court. This court will determine whether the child should be tried as an adult under Section 19 of the Act. It is the court's duty to send the offender to a 'place of safety' until they turn 21, after which they are moved to jail.

The court can order conditional release after the offender turns 21. However, a child tried as an adult is not granted two protections typically given to juvenile offenders – protection from disqualification and the erasure of their conviction record after a reasonable period.

Cases where children are tried as adults

  1. In September 2023, Delhi Court ordered the prosecution of two 17-year-olds as adults in a murder case. The court noted that the two were fully aware of the Juvenile Justice Board proceedings and carried out their conspiracy to murder the victim "in a perfectly planned manner." 

  2. In 2019, a 17-year-old was sentenced to two life terms by a local court in Hyderabad after being tried as an adult in a sodomy and murder case involving a 10-year-old boy.

  3. In the high-profile 2017 murder case of a seven-year-old boy at Gurgaon’s Ryan International School, the Juvenile Justice Board recommended that the Class 9 student responsible for the killing be tried as an adult. An appeal is currently pending before the Supreme Court.

Conclusion

The Pune Porsche accident has raised important questions about how we handle juvenile justice and parents' responsibilities. The Juvenile Justice Board will soon decide whether the teenager involved should be tried as an adult because of the serious nature of the crime.

This case shows the need for stricter laws and better enforcement against underage drinking and driving. The results of this case will greatly affect everyone involved and influence how juvenile justice is managed in India.

About the Author: Anirudh Nikhare | 59 Post(s)

Anirudh did his Bachelor's in Law and has practical experience in IPR, Contracts, and Corporate. He is your go-to legal content writer turning head-scratching legal topics into easy-to-understand gems of wisdom. Through his blog, he aims to empower readers with knowledge, making legal concepts digestible and applicable to everyday life.

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