Forensic Head Arrested After Pune Teen’s Blood Sample Discarded in Dustbin

In a significant development in the Pune Porsche incident, two doctors have been arrested for allegedly tampering with the blood test report of a 17-year-old whose drunk driving resulted in the deaths of two 24-year-old software engineers.

Dr. Ajay Tawade and Dr. Hari Harnor from Sassoon Hospital were taken into custody by the Pune Crime Branch, which is investigating the case that has provoked national outrage. According to Pune Police Commissioner Amitesh Kumar, the blood samples collected at the hospital and sent for forensic tests did not belong to the accused minor, indicating a sample switch.

On May 19, around 11 am, the teen’s blood sample taken at Sassoon Hospital was discarded in a dustbin, and another person’s blood sample was sent to the forensic lab instead. Chief Medical Officer Srihari Halnor replaced the blood sample following instructions from Ajay Tawade, the Head of the Forensic Medicine Department at Sassoon Hospital, Mr. Kumar explained.

The police have seized the phones of both doctors. The investigation revealed that Dr. Tawade and the father of the accused teen communicated by phone on the day of the accident, Mr. Kumar reported.

Initial reports had suggested the teen, who is now in an observation home, tested negative for alcohol. However, CCTV footage from a bar showed him drinking with friends that night.

Commissioner Kumar emphasized that the case is not merely about a drunk driving accident but about the teen’s awareness of his dangerous behavior. The teen had partied at two bars and driven recklessly on a congested street without a license plate. Two blood samples taken at different times post-accident showed conflicting results, raising suspicions and prompting a DNA test. The DNA test confirmed that the blood samples were from different individuals, indicating a deliberate switch to cover up the presence of alcohol.

The teen, from a prominent realtor family, is alleged to have had his father and grandfather attempt to influence the legal proceedings. The teen’s father has been arrested under charges related to the Juvenile Justice Act, and his grandfather was arrested following allegations from the family’s driver that he was confined, threatened, and coerced to take the blame for the accident. Staff from the bars visited by the teen that night have also been arrested.

The manipulation of the blood samples strengthens allegations that the family used their wealth and influence to protect the teen. The accident resulted in the deaths of Ashwini Kostha and Anish Awadhiya, who were hit by the Porsche while riding a bike. The teen was initially granted bail with seemingly lenient conditions, but due to public outrage, the Juvenile Justice Board later sent him to an observation home. The police have requested permission to try the teen as an adult. The families of the victims have called for severe punishment, describing the incident as “murder, not an accident.”

Shruti Suman

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