Bombay High Court to Hear Plea on Detention of Juvenile in Pune Porsche Accident Case


The Bombay High Court has scheduled a hearing for June 20 to consider a plea challenging the detention of a juvenile in connection with a fatal Porsche car accident in Pune. The petition was filed by the juvenile's aunt, alleging unlawful and arbitrary detention by the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) at an observation home.

Represented by advocate Swapnil Ambure, the plea requests the immediate release of the juvenile. The matter was presented before a division bench comprising Justices Bharati Dangre and Manjusha Deshpande.

Chief Public Prosecutor Hiten Venegaonkar, representing the JJB, opposed the petition's maintainability, asserting that the juvenile was remanded to the observation home through a legal order. He argued that the detention was lawful and procedurally correct.

Senior advocate Abad Ponda, appearing for the petitioner, urged for the juvenile's immediate release. Ponda also sought permission to amend the petition to include the JJB's order dated June 13, which extended the juvenile’s detention. The bench granted time for this amendment but refused immediate relief without a full hearing of the plea.

The case involves a 17-year-old, the son of a prominent Pune builder, who was driving a Porsche when he collided with a motorcycle in Kalyani Nagar, resulting in the deaths of two individuals. The minor, who had been drinking at a pub prior to the accident, allegedly dragged one victim with his vehicle and hit another two-wheeler and car before stopping.

The juvenile was initially booked under sections 304A (death by negligence), 279 (rash driving), 337 (causing hurt by endangering life), and 338 (causing grievous hurt by endangering life) of the Indian Penal Code, along with provisions of the Maharashtra Motor Vehicles Act. He was granted bail on May 19 but subsequently remanded to an observation home by the JJB.

The petition before the High Court sees to quash the JJB's orders of remanding and extending the minor's custody. It argues that the minor should be protected under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act to prevent him from becoming a hardened criminal. The petitioner contends that the initial decision to remand the juvenile to his grandfather's custody was overridden without proper review.

"The JJB could not take the minor from the grandfather’s custody and put him in the observation home without reviewing the earlier order," the plea states, arguing that the JJB's actions were influenced by public sentiment against the minor and his family. 

The petition further claims that media portrayal and public perception have unduly influenced the judicial process. "The CCL who is sought to be involved in the case of an accident; family is portrayed to be a monstrous family. In the present case, unfortunately, even the judge seems to be swayed away by the public sentiment and what optics his observations would create if observations are made even legally but favoring the accused," it reads.

Author: Anushka Taraniya

News writer