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Pune Porsche accident case: Another arrest made over blood sample manipulation, say police

The newly arrested individual is accused of tampering with the blood sample of the minor driver. This development adds a new dimension to the ongoing investigation, suggesting possible attempts to interfere with forensic evidence.

Edited By: Nitin Kumar @Niitz1 New Delhi Updated on: May 27, 2024 23:51 IST
Porsche car accident
Image Source : PTI/FILE PHOTO Pune: The Porsche car was found without a number plate in Pune.

Pune Police have arrested another individual in connection with the high-profile car accident case involving a minor. The latest arrest is related to alleged manipulation of the minor's blood sample, according to Pune Police officials. The case revolves around a tragic incident where a 17-year-old, driving a Porsche, was knocked down and killed two individuals. The minor's involvement and subsequent evidence handling have been under intense scrutiny. 

The arrested accused has been identified as Atul Ghatkamble, and he is also an employee of Sassoon Hospital.

"The incident is very serious. It was only due to proper investigation by the police that it was revealed that the blood samples of the accused had been replaced with other samples. The other samples were with the police, so it was immediately exposed and the doctors who were involved in it have been arrested...," said Maharashtra Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis.

Suspected kickbacks in sample swap

Two doctors from the state-run Sassoon Hospital, along with a hospital staffer, have been remanded in police custody until May 30 over allegations of manipulating the blood sample of a juvenile driver involved in a fatal Porsche car crash in Pune. Police suspect financial transactions, possibly in the form of kickbacks, played a role in replacing the original blood sample with another person's.

Court proceedings

The Judicial Magistrate First Class (small causes) A A Pande granted police custody of the accused until May 30, although the prosecution had sought a ten-day remand. The accused include Dr. Ajay Taware, head of the hospital's Forensic Medicine department, Dr. Shrihari Halnor, the chief medical officer, and Atul Ghatkamble, an employee under Dr. Taware.

Role of the juvenile's father

The prosecution revealed that the juvenile's father had allegedly instructed one of the doctors to alter the blood samples. Police aim to uncover if others were involved in issuing these instructions. The juvenile, son of a city builder, is suspected of driving under the influence at the time of the crash, which killed two IT professionals on May 19.

Additional charges

New charges under IPC sections 201 (causing the disappearance of evidence), 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 467 (forgery of valuable security), 213 and 214 (screening an offender) have been added to the original charges against the juvenile, which included sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 304-A (causing death by negligence), and 279 (rash driving).

Misuse of positions

Public Prosecutor Nilesh Ladkat informed the court that the accused misused their positions for financial gain, destroying and replacing the blood samples. He emphasized the need for face-to-face interrogation and mentioned that financial transactions indicating kickbacks were uncovered, necessitating house searches of the accused to recover the money.

Evidence and defense arguments

The police are recovering CCTV footage and conducting technical analysis of the seized mobile phones. They also plan to transfer custody of the juvenile's father to facilitate a collective interrogation and to seize records from the CMO's office.

Defense counsel Rishikesh Ganu and Advocate Sudhir Shah argued that the charges of sections 201, 120-B, and others are bailable, contesting the need for police custody since crucial evidence like CCTV footage and phones have already been seized.

Ongoing investigation

The investigation continues, with authorities aiming to piece together the full extent of the alleged manipulation and financial transactions involved in the case.



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