Pune car crash: ‘Minor’s blood sample changed to show no trace of alcohol’; 2 doctors among 3 held | India News

PUNE: Pune Police investigating the Porsche car crash case on Monday said the blood samples of the juvenile driver were thrown into a dustbin and replaced with another person’s samples which showed no traces of alcohol and arrested two doctors and a staffer of Sassoon General Hospital. The arrested persons are identified as Dr Ajay Taware, head of the state-run hospital’s Forensic Medicine department, Dr Shrihari Halnor, the chief medical officer, and the staffer Atul Ghatkamble who works under Dr Taware.They were remanded in police custody till May 30.
“The juvenile’s father had called the doctor and offered him allurements to replace the blood samples,” Pune Police Commissioner Amitesh Kumar said at a press conference here on Monday.
As the juvenile’s blood samples were replaced, the report which was received on Sunday from the hospital showed no traces of alcohol, he said.
Two IT professionals were killed after their motorcycle was hit by a speeding Porsche allegedly driven by the minor boy in the early hours of May 19 in Kalyani Nagar area of Pune city. The police claim the teenager was drunk at the time of the accident.
In separate developments, a court allowed the police to take custody of Vishal Agarwal, the realtor father of the 17-year-old involved in the car crash, from the Yerwada Central Jail in connection with the case of kidnapping and wrongful confinement of his driver.
A team of representatives from Porsche reached the Yerwada police station on Monday to conduct a technical inspection of the luxury car involved in the crash, an official said.
“Dr Ajay Taware and Dr Shrihari Halnor have been arrested. The investigation revealed that the blood samples of the juvenile were replaced with some other person’s samples and this was done on the direction of Dr Taware,” said Amitesh Kumar.
On the instructions of Dr Taware, the juvenile’s blood samples were thrown into a dustbin and replaced with the blood samples of another person, he said.
“The investigation also revealed that it was the juvenile’s father who had called Dr Ajay Taware and offered him allurements to replace the blood samples,” Kumar said.
Another police official from the crime branch told PTI that the juvenile’s father made multiple calls to Dr Taware.
Kumar said the manipulation of the blood sample came to light after another sample of the juvenile taken for DNA sampling was sent to another hospital.
“The report of the other hospital revealed the juvenile’s blood report at the Sassoon Hospital was manipulated as the DNA of (blood samples of) both the reports did not match,” he said.
He said a probe is underway to find out whose blood samples were collected to replace those of the juvenile and CCTV footage of the Sassoon Hospital was recovered.
“We are probing whose samples were taken to replace the samples of the juvenile. We are probing whether someone’s samples were taken or it was taken from the stock at the lab in the state-run hospital. We are investigating this aspect through CCTV footage, interrogation, and technical analysis,” said Kumar.
The police commissioner said that Indian Penal sections 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence), 120 B (criminal conspiracy) and other relevant sections have been added to the case in which the juvenile has been booked.
“We have made the juvenile’s father co-accused in the present case,” he said.
A police officer said the court allowed the police to take custody of Vishal Agarwal from the Yerwada Central Jail in connection with the case of kidnapping and wrongful confinement of his driver.
The teenager involved in the crash was initially granted bail by the Juvenile Justice Board, which also asked him to write an essay on road accidents, but following outrage and a review application by the police, he was sent to an observation home till June 5.
The police commissioner added that the report of another sample of the juvenile taken at the Aundh Hospital, 20 hours after the accident, also did not have the traces of alcohol as it was taken for the purpose of DNA sampling.
“We have already clarified that our case is not based on the pillar of blood sample but is based on section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder). The juvenile (in the car crash) was in full senses and knew that drunk driving can endanger the lives of others on the road,” he said.
After the first report of the juvenile which was based on “physical appearance” came negative on Sunday morning, there was a scope for suspicion, Kumar said, adding police clandestinely took samples of the juvenile at different hospitals and sent them for DNA test.
Another officer explained how the sample manipulation was detected.
“At 11 am on Sunday, the first blood sample of the minor was collected at Sassoon. As an abundant precaution after the report of physical appearance came negative, it was decided that a second sample needs to be collected. It was collected at Aundh Hospital and sent for the DNA sampling to FSL.
“The report stated that the DNA sample of the father didn’t match with the sample collected at Sassoon, which means he was not the biological father of the juvenile (indicating sample manipulation),” he added.

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