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Pune Porsche case: Panel Found Misconduct in JJB Functioning

Pune Porsche case: Panel Found Misconduct in JJB Functioning

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NEW DELHI, June 15: A five-member panel formed by the Maharashtra government to investigate the conduct of the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) members in promptly granting bail to the drunk minor accused in the Pune Porsche accident case has found “procedural lapses,” “misconduct” and “non-compliance of norms.”

Looking into alleged discrepancies in a report by the non-judicial member of the JJB Dr LN Danwade who had released the 17-year-old teen on bail with flimsy terms including writing a 300-word essay on road safety and bonds worth ₹ 15,000. The committee found that he took the decision on his own without waiting for the consent of the other member of the board.

These terms were later modified – after widespread public outrage and the police indicating they would charge the boy as an adult – and he was sent to a remand home.

The teen who allegedly drove the Porsche that rammed two IT engineers and killed them, was released on bail within 15 hours of the accident. The committee in a 100-page report to the Social Justice Department now said among the many red flags in the way Dr Danwade handled the matter, he did not consider the flaws in the blood report, which did not come from the police.

The JJB also did not make a roster as is the norm, and Dr Danwade gave the decision to release the accused teen “in haste,” the committee said in its report. The order should have been given only in the presence of more JJB members, but no one from the JJB apart from Dr Danwade was present in court at the time the bail order was given, the committee said.

“The five-member committee submitted its report on Friday to the Women and Child Development department commissioner. The WCD department, after receipt of the report, has issued notices to two JJB members who were appointed by the department,” an official said.

According to the official, the report mentioned of glaring lapses and mistakes while issuing bail order by a single JJB member. The other member of the board granted consent the next day. “Misconduct and non-compliance of norms has been found on the part of the two members and they have been apprised about it,” the official said.

The JJB Bench should have overturned the bail order the next day since the flaws were obvious, the committee said. Show cause notices have been issued against all JJB members including non-judicial ones. They have been ordered to respond to the alleged flaws.

The Porsche car driven by the teenager, son of a builder, crashed into a motorbike in the early hours of May 19, killing IT professionals Anish Awadhiya and Ashwini Koshta, both in their twenties and residents of Madhya Pradesh. The teen was driving under the influence, according to the police.

The boy’s parents are in police custody in connection with the case related to allege swapping of his blood samples at the state-run Sassoon General Hospital.

The Juvenile Justice Board comprises two members appointed by the women and child development (WCD) department, and a member from the judiciary. WCD commissioner Dr Prashant Narnavare said the report had been submitted by the probe panel. Show cause notices has been issued to both JJB members, who have been asked to furnish their replies in the next four to five days.

Earlier this week, the Juvenile Justice Board extended the teenager’s custody at the observation facility till June 25.

(Manas Dasgupta)


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