Sunday, June 23, 2024

Bail for Pune Porsche Crash Case- Justice or Joke?

Reetika Choudhury 

In the early hours of May 19th, 2024, a 17-and-a-half-year-old boy, the son of an influential real estate developer, knocked down two motorbike-born software engineers with his speeding Porsche in the Yerwada area of Pune. The incident caused a lot of anger, with many people criticizing the Pune police for being too lenient. The Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) granted the boy bail in just 15 hours and only asked him to write a 300-word essay on road accidents.  The 17-year-old boy was granted bail on a surety of Rs. 7500 and an assurance from his grandfather that he will keep the Child-in-Conflict with Law (CCL) away from any bad company and he will concentrate on his study or any vocational course which is useful for his career.

On further investigation, it was found that, on the intervening night of May 18 and 19, the accused juvenile, along with his friends went to two restaurants between 9:30 pm and 1 a.m. and allegedly consumed liquor, spending Rs. 48,000 in one of the restaurants. Surprisingly, the next day, his test reports showed that he wasn’t drunk, despite the video proof of him drinking in a pub.

While incidents like these are not uncommon on Indian roads, what is unusual here is that a spoiled son of a rich father got bail within just 15 hours of killing two innocent people. Our judiciaries, where millions of critical cases are pending for decades, were prompt enough to hear the case on Sunday and let him free on 3 important conditions that:

  • He would write a 300-word essay on road accidents and its safety.
  • He would keep away from bad company.
  • He would work with the traffic police for 15 days.

The common people view judiciaries as their last resort, but the strictness of the law in India is inversely proportional to the amount of money you have.

Most of the time, the Higher Courts or the Supreme Court become proactive when a politician’s case is to be heard or when they need to take an action against a law passed by the Parliament, but they never intervene when such ridiculous decision is passed by a lower court. This is where the system fails. Rich and influential people can easily buy their way out of the law, while a layman is rarely served justice.

There are many hit-and-run cases in our country where the victims are not served justice, and the individuals who committed the crimes get away scot-free. This weakness in the system should be addressed; yet people often don’t realize the severity of the situation until it happens to them. Everyone should be aware of this issue and work to address these grievances in our system so that proper justice is served. The perpetrators should face serious consequences, including imprisonment or detention in a facility that educates and reforms them if they are juveniles, rather than being let off so easily. Additionally, the victim’s family should receive significant compensation to help them cope with their loss and suffering.

‘We’ the common people of India have gotten extremely habituated to take all injustice silently! This tragic incident shows why it’s important to strictly enforce laws against underage drinking and driving and it must be ensured that places selling alcohol are also held accountable, if they sell it to underage kids! In a country like India, there is an urgent need for a strong Juvenile Justice System that can handle serious crimes by minors, balancing both rehabilitation and accountability. The legal actions should aim to bring justice for the victims and reinforce societal norms against underage drinking and reckless behavior.

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