High profile lawyer Janhavi Gadkar, arrested for allegedly causing the death of two people in a drink driving accident in Mumbai, drank at a hotel and a pub before the crash, police officials have said.
In her statement to police, Gadkar had said that she only drank at the Marine Plaza Hotel on Monday night. Gadkar further said that after leaving the hotel, she parked her Audi Q3 on Marine Drive and spent two hours by the roadside apparently to sober up before heading home.
But following a tip-off from a media professional, who claimed he had seen Gadkar at a pub in Kala Ghoda later the same night, police obtained CCTV footage from the pub and confirmed that Gadkar had gone there.
Police officials said the footage shows Gadkar meeting a top official of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) at the pub. Gadkar was a senior member of the legal team of RIL.
A police team took Gadkar to the pub on Friday morning and questioned her there to get a better idea of what happened before she began her journey home.
“We have CCTV footage from the pub, in which she is seen greeting a Reliance official,” said a police officer who did not want to be named. The statement of the Reliance official who was with Gadkar is likely to be recorded on Monday.
Police have seized Gadkar’s bill at the pub and officials said it showed she drank two or three pegs of alcohol there.
“The bill strengthens the theory that she drank more alcohol after leaving Marine Plaza (Hotel), as does her blood report, which shows she had 200 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood,” said the police officer.
Police had been suspicious about Gadkar’s claim that she drank just two whiskeys at Marine Plaza Hotel, as the bill from there showed she had consumed six 30-ml shots of whiskey. Also her blood alcohol content did not match the amount of alcohol she claimed to have drunk.
“The BAC (blood alcohol content) report uses a complex method in which the level of blood alcohol is measured on the basis of the person’s gender, his or her weight, the amount of alcohol consumed, and the time in which the alcohol was consumed,” said a senior police officer.
Early on Tuesday, Gadkar, drunk and driving on the wrong side of the Eastern Freeway, rammed her Audi into the taxi carrying the family of businessmen Salim Sabuwala. The taxi’s driver and Sabuwala were killed and four others injured.
What did Gadkar tell cops in the first place? Here's a graphic representation of her account:
Once Janhavi left the pub, she drove her vehicle on P D’Mello road and then took the freeway and went all the way to Panjarpol. At the circle near Panjarpol, she misjudged and took a turn which brought her back to the road toward South Mumbai.
“Here she brushed a vehicle and went south bound. When she realized she was in the wrong direction, she took a U-turn and was travelling in the wrong lane (right side). Here two vehicles managed to save themselves and when she finally rammed into the taxi, she was travelling at around 120 kmph,” a source said.