The Mumbai police are using CCTV footage from Marine Plaza and questioning the hotel’s staff to corroborate the statements of lawyer Janhavi Gadkar, 35, and built a “watertight” case against her. Gadkar was arrested on Tuesday morning for a drunk-driving accident in which two people died and four others were injured.
Gadkar has been charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder (Section 304 of the Indian Penal Code), the maximum punishment for which is 10 years in jail.
Already, the police have found a discrepancy between her account of events and that of waiters at Marine Plaza, who said she had come there with just one colleague – a man – and not two women colleagues, as she had told the police.
And on Tuesday night, Sangramsinh Nishandar, deputy commissioner of police (zone 6), travelled the entire length of the Eastern Freeway to recreate Gadkar’s journey and ascertain how she ended up on the wrong side of the overpass. Minutes before Gadkar crashed her Audi Q3 into an oncoming taxi, a few motorists had managed to swerve out of the way in the nick of time. The police are recording their statements as well.
“We have retrieved the CCTV footage from the hotel, and the bill, which will be used as evidence. The statements of her colleague, the hotel staff and motorists who passed her on the freeway are also being recorded to make the case watertight,” said an officer at RCC police station, who is privy to the investigation.
Deven Bharti, joint commissioner of police (law and order), said, “We have enough evidence to prove that Janhavi had consumed alcohol beyond permissible limits.”
Janhavi, whose police custody ended on Wednesday morning, was taken to a magistrate’s court in Kurla, which extended her custody to June 12 . Soon after, she complained of giddiness and was taken to Shatabdi Hospital in Chembur. “She has been feeling very low, and regrets her actions,” said a police officer, who did not wish to be named.
Following the accident, the deputy commissioners of police of zones 1 and 6 have been told to station personnel at both ends of the 16.3-km freeway to prevent similar incidents.