The mystery surrounding the late night high speed crash of an Aston Martin belonging to a Reliance group company on December 9 and the events thereafter remains even a month after the incident. Two crucial questions remain.
Who paid for the new cars that replaced the two damaged by the Aston Martin near Cadbury junction in south Mumbai? And, was there only one person in the Aston Martin at the time?
While the family of Foram Ruparel, 25, whose Audi A4 was one of the cars damaged, had claimed their insurance company, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, had replaced it with an Audi A6, sources in the company denied any such thing. “It is true that the vehicle was insured with us and that they have intimated a claim. However, as of now, we have not paid them any claim,” said a highly placed source who refused to be identified citing sensitivities and refused to elaborate further.
Tushar Ruparel, Foram’s father, had told HT on December 26 that “The insurance company replaced our car with an Audi A6 and we have paid the balance amount.” When contacted on Friday, he refused to comment on the issue.
Sources in New India Assurance, the company that had insured the second car damaged, a Hyundai Elantra belonging to Vikram Mishra, also said that they had not paid any claim to Mishra. When contacted, Mishra said: “I do not want to talk about the accident at all.” He had got a brand new Skoda in place of his damaged car.
The Gamdevi police, who are investigating the case, said that Mishra had recently identified Bansilal Joshi, 55, as the Aston Martin’s driver before the Girgaum court. Foram had done the same on December 23.
“Joshi has not been arrested yet as we are still uncertain about the driver’s identity. Our investigation is underway,” said Krishna Prakash, regional additional commissioner of police. Joshi had turned up at the police station a day later claiming he had been driving the car. After the multiple collisions on the night of December 6, the driver had fled the scene.
“We will go through the call data records to verify if another person was accompanying Joshi and could have been driving the car,” said a senior official from the Gamdevi police who did not wish to be named.