Mumbai drink-driving accident: Will advocate Janhavi Gadkar get bail?

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Jun 11, 2015 22:58 IST

Mumbai lawyer Gadkar was arrested on Tuesday morning for a drunk-driving accident in which two people died and four others were injured.

Will Gadkar be granted bail when she is produced before a court on Friday? The answer depends on the progress of the investigation and whether the police are able to convince the court that extending Gadkar’s custody is necessary.

If the RCF police can show the court that their investigations necessitate her custody, there is a good chance she will be denied bail. But if the police fail to convince the court, Gadkar may be sent to judicial custody, following which she could apply for bail.

Criminal lawyer Niteen Pradhan said, “She was caught at the spot and her medical examination was conducted soon after, so police custody is no longer necessary, especially as she is a woman. But there are many grey areas in our laws.”

“The law says the police are entitled to the custody of an accused person for a maximum of 14 days, depending upon the progress of the investigation. When seeking further custody, the police have to justify their demand and specify reasons for it,” said Taraq Sayyed, another criminal lawyer.

Sayyed added that if the police fail to convince the court, Gadkar could be released on bail. “She can be granted bail on the grounds that the investigation, with regards to her, is over. She will need to give the court and assurance that she will neither jump bail nor tamper with evidence,” said Sayyed.

Another criminal lawyer, Wahab Khan, said, “It’s a serious case, in which two lives have been lost. More investigation is required. It has come to light that before ramming the taxi, she almost hit two other vehicles.”

In their remand application filed on Tuesday, the police had said that Gadkar should remain in custody as they are yet to record the statements of her colleagues. “If she is released on bail, she could pressurise her colleagues to not support the investigation. This could hamper the probe,” the police said in the application.

* Bar council reacts

Records of the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa show that Janhavi Gadkar has been a high court advocate since 2002. “Records show she is still a practicing advocate. However, we do not have power to penalise anyone. That is the job of the court,” said Pravin Ranpise, secretary of the bar council.

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