An auto driver who didn't understand his passenger's instructions found himself arrested on charges of kidnapping.
A teenage girl, Neha (name changed), travelling in Sunil Kate's (32) rickshaw last week told him to stop, in English, when they were heading towards Aundh. But Kate kept driving, the police complaint filed by her says. Fearing the worst, she jumped out of the moving rickshaw, injuring herself in the process.
The court, however, released him on bail after his lawyer explained the circumstances of the incident.
Neha boarded the rickshaw in the Model Colony area with two friends. While the friends got down after some time she asked Kate to continue driving, the complaint lodged at Chatushrungi police station says.
Since she was talking on her mobile phone, she realised with a start that her destination had arrived, and told the driver to stop. Kate, who barely knows a few words of English, assumed she was still talking on her phone, his lawyer told the court.
Kate even claimed he took her to the nearest private hospital for treatment, from where she called her friends. She also contacted the police, who arrested Kate under charges of attempt to kidnap. He was in police custody for two days, after which the police produced him before judicial magistrate BG Itkalkar and asked for judicial custody.
Kate's lawyer, however, submitted an application, narrating the entire episode. "Kate was unable to understand English while the girl could not speak or understand either Marathi or Hindi," the lawyer said. "Kate had not intention of kidnapping the girl and the incident was a result of misunderstanding and not knowing the language."
Upholding the argument, the court released Kate on the bail.
Investigating officer Sheshrao Suryavanshi was not available for comment, but a duty officer from Chatushrungi police station said, "Kate has been released on bail and further investigation are on."