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Pune Porsche accident: Hospital dean alleges political interference by legislator
In images Pune teen drinking at a bar and crash vehicle/ courtesy: Videograb from X

Pune Porsche accident: Hospital dean alleges political interference by legislator

| @indiablooms | 29 May 2024, 09:38 pm

Pune/IBNS: Giving mileage to allegations of political interference, the dean of Pune's Sassoon Hospital has claimed that one of the doctors accused of replacing the blood samples of the teenager behind the Porsche accident was made the head of the forensic department at the insistence of a state minister and an MLA.

The legislator, Sunil Tingre, was also accused of visiting the Yerwada police station after the crash, in which two techies were killed, and pressuring officials to go easy on the case.

Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, the hospital's dean, Vinayak Kale, said Maharashtra Medical Education Minister Hasan Mushrif and Tingre had written a letter and asked for Dr Ajay Tawade to be made the head of Sassoon Hospital's Forensic Medicine Department.

Both Mushrif and the MLA are from the Ajit Pawar faction of the Nationalist Congress Party, which is in power in Maharashtra in an alliance with the BJP and the Eknath Shinde faction of the Shiv Sena.

Hours after the press conference, Dr Kale was sent on compulsory leave by the Maharashtra government for “failing to take the case seriously” and “not taking proper decisions” as the dean.

The Pune Crime Branch arrested Tawade and Dr Shrihari Harnor, the Chief Medical Officer of Sassoon Hospital on Monday for allegedly helping replace the teenager's blood samples with those of a doctor to ensure that no alcohol was detected in them.

A peon, Atul Ghatkamble, who acted as the middleman and allegedly collected the Rs. 3 lakh bribe meant for the two doctors from the realtor's family, was also taken into custody.

Kale said Tawade and Ghatkamble have been suspended while the contract of Dr Harnor has been terminated.

"The committee formed for the investigation at the state level conducted the probe for the whole day yesterday (Tuesday). I have taken action at my level," he said.

The committee, set up by the Maharashtra Government to probe the alleged manipulation of the blood sample, is chaired by Dr Pallavi Sapale, the dean of Grant Medical College and JJ group of hospitals.

What has happened so far?

The minor, allegedly speeding at 200 km per hour after heavy drinking, has been placed in an observation home until June 5 while the Juvenile Justice Board reviews the police request to treat him as an adult.

The teen's father, a prominent real estate developer, was arrested under provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act.

The teen driving the Porsche hit the motorcycle, ridden by two engineers, Ashwini Kostha and Anish Awadhiya, from behind in a drunken state.

Both the riders died on the spot.

Despite the severity of the situation, the teenager was granted bail within 15 hours of the accident. He was asked to write a 300-word essay on road accidents, cooperating with traffic authorities for 15 days, and undergoing counselling for his alcohol consumption.

However, following widespread public outrage, the Juvenile Justice Board revised its decision and placed him in the observation home.

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