Pune Police Invoke Corruption Charges Against Doctors in Porsche Accident Case

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Pune, 28th May 2024: Pune police have invoked charges under the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act against two doctors and a staffer of Sassoon General Hospital, claiming that Dr. Ajay Taware suggested replacing the minor driver’s blood sample with the latter’s father, a builder.

On Monday, police arrested Taware, head of the forensic medicine department, Dr. Shrihari Holnur, casualty medical officer (CMO), and Atul Ghatkamble, a mortuary staffer, on charges of manipulating the 17-year-old’s blood test. This test could have confirmed if the teen, involved in the May 19 Porsche Taycan crash, was under the influence of alcohol.

Pune police commissioner Amitesh Kumar stated, “We are not ruling out the possibility of an exchange of a huge amount of money as gratification from the builder, though Taware has yet to disclose it. His questioning revealed that he came up with the idea of switching the minor’s blood sample with that of someone else and asked Holnur to do it after his conversation with the builder.”

Kumar said police have already recovered Rs 2.5 lakh from Holnur and Rs 50,000 from Ghatkamble after Holnur confessed that he had received Rs 3 lakh from Taware and gave Rs 50,000 of this to the mortuary staffer.

The application of the PC Act, the police chief said, meant the anti-corruption bureau would come into play and might open a disproportionate assets inquiry against the arrested public servants. “We will write to the state health authorities about the arrest details so that they may initiate the process of suspending them. We will also seek permission under Section 197 (prosecution of a government servant).”

Pune police also conducted searches at Taware’s residence in Gita Society, Camp.

Investigations had earlier revealed that after the accident, the builder made one regular call and over 20 calls using a mobile phone application to Taware, asking him to do the favors. “These calls were made within a few hours after 10 am on May 19. We are analyzing the call detail records of Taware and the builder.”

At 2:30 am on May 19, the Porsche Taycan hit a motorcycle in Kalyaninagar, killing two IT engineers Aneesh Awadhiya (24) and Ashwini Koshta (24), both natives of Madhya Pradesh. The teenager, according to the police, had been to two pubs, Cosie and Blak Club, before the accident and consumed alcohol. The police have taken CCTV footage of one pub.

The police, who already have CCTV footage of different locations the car passed through in Mundhwa and Kalyaninagar, have started contacting government and private agencies to recreate the entire accident digitally for the benefit of the court.

Meanwhile, the police on Tuesday deployed a guard at Taware’s office at Sassoon General Hospital’s forensic sciences department to prevent any theft or other malpractice.