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Pune Porsche car crash: 2 Sassoon Hospital doctors arrested for accused teen's blood sample manipulation

The accused are Dr Ajay Taware, head of the forensics department, and Dr Shrihari Harnor, chief medical officer at Sassoon Hospital

Written by  Jasleen Kaur -- May 27th 2024 09:24 AM -- Updated: May 27th 2024 01:40 PM
Pune Porsche car crash: 2 Sassoon Hospital doctors arrested for accused teen's blood sample manipulation

Pune Porsche car crash: 2 Sassoon Hospital doctors arrested for accused teen's blood sample manipulation

PTC Web Desk: The head of the forensics department at Sassoon Hospital in Pune and another doctor have been arrested for allegedly tampering with evidence in the case of a teen accused in a deadly Pune Porsche car crash case, Pune Police Commissioner Amitesh Kumar said on Monday.

The arrests followed the revelation that the blood samples of the minor involved in the accident were swapped with those of a person who had not consumed alcohol. The teen’s original blood sample was disposed of in a dustbin. On the day of the accident, May 19, the minor was taken to Sassoon Hospital for a medical test at 11 am. A Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) report showed no alcohol in the first sample, which raised suspicions. A second blood test, conducted at a different hospital, along with DNA tests confirmed the samples were from two different individuals. This led investigators to believe that the doctors at the government hospital had tampered with the evidence to protect the accused juvenile.

"Dr Shrihari Halnor, who had taken the blood sample from the juvenile, was arrested last night. During interrogation, he revealed that he had switched the blood sample on the directions of Dr Ajay Taware, the head of Forensic Medicine," said Police Commissioner Amitesh Kumar at a press conference.

Following the doctors' arrests, charges of criminal conspiracy, forgery, and destruction of evidence were added to the accident case.

Kumar stated that no alcohol was found in the second blood sample taken from the minor. "But our case is under section 304, culpable homicide not amounting to murder. The accused juvenile was fully aware that his actions could endanger lives, so the absence of alcohol in his blood sample does not affect our case," he said.

The Pune Porsche crash case has been fraught with controversy from the beginning, with allegations of preferential treatment and underworld connections involving the accused’s family. The minor, who was allegedly driving the Porsche under the influence of alcohol, was initially granted bail, but was later remanded to an observation home until June 5 following public outcry.

His father, real estate developer Vishal Agrawal, and grandfather have also been arrested in connection with the case, with allegations of attempting to bribe and threaten the family’s driver to take the blame for the accident.

Two IT professionals, Anish Awadhiya and Ashwini Koshta, were killed when the speeding Porsche, allegedly driven by the 17-year-old, hit their bike. The victims’ families have demanded a Supreme Court-monitored probe and trial, citing concerns over the handling of the case.

- With inputs from agencies

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