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Officials change course amid outrage over bail terms for Indian teen accused in fatal drunk driving accident

New Delhi — Indian justice officials changed course amid outrage over bail conditions set for teenager accused of killing two people while driving a Porsche at high speed while drunk and without a license. The 17-year-old son of a wealthy businessman was ordered to write a 300-word essay and work with local traffic police for 15 days to secure bail – a decision that was taken within 15 hours of his arrest.

He is accused of killing two young people while speeding in his luxury car on Sunday in Pune, western India.

The bail conditions initially imposed by the local Juvenile Justice Board shocked many people, including officials, across India. Local police contacted the commission to request the cancellation of his bail and permission to treat the boy, who is just four months shy of his 18th birthday, as an adult, arguing that his alleged crime was of a nature odious.

In 2015, India changed its laws to allow minors aged 16 to 18 to be tried as adults if they are accused of crimes deemed heinous. This change was motivated by the famous 2012 Delhi rape case, in which one of the condemned was a minor. Many activists argued that if he was old enough to commit a brutal rape, he should not be treated as a minor.

On Wednesday evening, after three days of outrage over the initial decision, the Juvenile Justice Board revoked the teen’s bail and sent him to a juvenile detention center until June 5. seeing him face a more severe potential sentence, would be handed down after further investigation.

Late Sunday evening, police said the teenager, after drinking with friends at two local bars in Pune, left in his Porsche Taycan, sped through narrow roads and allegedly hit a motorcycle, sending the two victims – a man and a woman, both aged 24. -old software engineers — flying through the air and killing them.

The parents of both victims urged authorities to ensure strict punishment for the teenager.

The suspect was initially charged with causing death by negligence, but this was replaced by a more serious charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder. On Wednesday, he was also charged with driving while intoxicated.

Police arrested the suspect’s father and charged him with letting his son drive when he was a minor, according to Pune Police Commissioner Amitesh Kumar. The legal age for driving in India is 18 years. The owners of the two bars where alcohol was served to the minor were also arrested and their premises seized.

“We have taken the strictest approach possible and will do everything in our power to ensure that the two young lives lost get justice and the accused is duly punished,” Kumar said.

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis called the Juvenile Justice Board’s initial decision “lenient” and “shocking”, and called public outrage a reasonable response.

Indian traffic police conduct checks for drunk driving during the Holi holiday on March 25, 2024, in Noida, India.

Sunil Ghosh/Hindustan Times/Getty

Road accidents claimed more than 168,000 lives in India in 2022. More than 1,500 of them died in accidents caused by drunk driving, according to Indian government data.

Under Indian law, a person convicted of drunk driving can face a maximum sentence of six months in prison and a fine of around $120 for a first offense. If, however, drunk driving results in the death of another person, the offender faces a sentence of two to seven years in prison.

News Source :
Gn world

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