Hours after his speeding Honda Accord hit a scooter, killing the pillion rider, 30-year-old businessman Sushil Kothari claimed he had lost control of his car after one of the tyres burst.
Kothari’s lawyer, Sanjog Parab, conveyed this to the court as Kothari, dressed in jeans and a red T-shirt, stood silently.
An allegedly drunk Kothari hit the scooter at Marine Drive early on Wednesday morning. The pillion rider, 48-year-old Haji Zulfikar Mohammed Qureshi, was thrown off the scooter and died immediately.
The rider, Abdul Rehman Shaikh (52), was injured.
The Malabar Hill police had produced Kothari in the Girgaum metropolitan magistrate’s court in a case of rash and negligent driving registered by the Malabar Hill police after his car hit four cars at Walkeshwar, as he tried escaping after the Marine Drive accident.
Kothari was remanded into judicial custody until September 7 but his lawyer applied for bail arguing that the offence was bailable.
However, as soon as Kothari was granted bail in the Malabar Hill case, the Marine Drive police arrested him and sought his transit remand in the hit-and-run case.
Parab said the mishap took place because a car burst and argued that it could have happened to anybody because it was raining heavily.
Kothari replied in the negative when the magistrate asked him if he had any complaints of ill treatment at the hands of the police.
The Marine Drive police have registered a case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, punishable with 10 years of imprisonment.
Kothari, who was allegedly drunk, tried escaping after he hit the scooter.
He sped towards Walkeshwar. On the way, he hit four cars parked along the road before taking a left turn where the Malabar Hill police intercepted him and arrested him.
Kothari will be produced in the Esplanade court near Azad Maidan on Thursday when the Marine Drive police will seek his custody.