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Press Trust Of India
Melbourne, August 08, 2012
Australian police on Tuesday announced a reward of 100,000 dollars on an Indian man who fled from the country after being accused of negligent driving that killed a pedestrian.


The first time a reward has been offered for a traffic offence. Puneet, who was a 19-year-old learner-driver when he lost control of his vehicle and hit students Dean Hofstee and Clancy Cloker who were walking along city road in Southbank in October, 2008.

Hofstee, 19, was killed instantly while Cloker suffered critical injuries. Both were students visiting Melbourne from Queensland.

The 100,000 Australian dollars or Rs. 57 lakh is now being offered for information that leads to Puneet's arrest and return to Australia.

Assistant commissioner Robert Hill said "it is the first time a reward has been offered in relation to a traffic offence.

"We believe that there are people both in Australia and India who can provide information in relation to Puneet's whereabouts," he said.

"It is also our belief that he is still in India at this time and we are working closely with our AFP (Australian Federal Police) counterparts on this matter. According to ABC, Australia will not seek Puneet's extradition until he is arrested or brought before an Indian court," he said.

Australian high commissioner in India Peter Varghese, welcomed the announcement of reward for information leading to the location, arrest and subsequent return of Puneet.

In a statement, the Australian high commission said Puneet was charged with culpable driving and negligently causing serious injury following a collision and experts estimated at the time of the accident Puneet was driving under heavy influence of alcohol.