The Aston Martin car worth Rs 4 crore owned by Reliance Ports which was being driven by a youth according to eye-witnesses now at the Gamdevi Police Station

Aston Martin Crash: Complainant now wants to withdraw the police case

Dec 28 • Mumbai News, News • 701 Views • No Comments



Swati Deshpande & Mateen Hafeez,TNN | Dec 28, 2013, 02.11 AM IST


MUMBAI: Phorum Ruparel, a 25-year-old student who complained to the police after a speeding Aston Martin hit her Audi on Pedder Road early this month, has said she does not wish to pursue the case. But it is not in her hands anymore to withdraw the FIR.

“It can be done only by the government or the complainant will have to go to court stating she has done a compromise with the accused,” said a senior police official, making it clear that the court would decide.

The Gamdevi police had registered a case of rash driving and negligence under sections 279 and 337 of the Indian Penal Code (see box) and a few sections of the Motor Vehicles Act after Ruparel complained.

The offence of rash driving under section 279 is not compoundable under the law. It means a compromise between the complainant and the accused is not permitted, lawyers said.

The offence under section 337 for ‘causing hurt to a person by a rash act’ is compoundable and can be settled at the behest of the person hurt, but only with court permission.

Once the police register an FIR — as was done in this case as both sections are cognizable — it has to investigate and file a chargesheet if there is evidence of offence or file a closure report if there is no evidence or if the allegations are false, said legal experts.

Some criminal offences can be settled or compromised between the victim and the accused with the permission of the court. In such cases too, the application must be made before the court and a complainant has no power to withdraw an FIR. It is for the court to grant permission to settle the case and allow acquittal of the accused. Though the offence of rash driving cannot be “settled”, the courts have the power to quash the offence. Here, the accused would need to file an application before the court.

Around 1.30am on December 8, an Aston Martin owned by Reliance Ports collided with Ruparel’s Audi and an Elantra on Pedder Road, injuring three persons. The day after, a 55-year-old driver, Bansilal Joshi, appeared before the police and “confessed” he was driving the car and fled after the accident as he was scared.

Recently, Ruparel identified Joshi or someone resembling Joshi as the driver of the Aston Martin at the time of the accident. She also gave a statement before the magistrate, saying she did not want to pursue the case.

No arrest has been made in the case so far, but Joshi could be arrested since the charges against him are cognizable. But they are bailable too.


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