Anahita Pandole booked in car accident that killed Cyrus Mistry
Mistry, Jehangir, Anahita and her husband Darius were travelling from Gujarat to Mumbai on National Highway 48 when their Mercedes-Benz collided with a concrete barrier that signalled the end of the third lane of the highway in Kasa in Palghar district
Mumbai: The Palghar police on Saturday registered an FIR against noted gynaecologist and obstetrician Dr Anahita Pandole in connection with the accident that claimed the life of industrialist Cyrus Mistry and her brother-in-law Jehangir on September 4 this year.
Mistry, Jehangir, Anahita and her husband Darius were travelling from Gujarat to Mumbai on National Highway 48 when their Mercedes-Benz collided with a concrete barrier that signalled the end of the third lane of the highway in Kasa in Palghar district.
Mistry and Jehangir were killed while Anahita and Darius were injured in the accident. Darius was discharged from the Sir H N Reliance Foundation Hospital last week while Anahita is still undergoing treatment there.
According to the Palghar police, the FIR was registered on Saturday after Mercedes-Benz sent them its final report of its analysis of the ill-fated car’s data chip. This report and the statement of Darius recorded earlier this week form the basis of the FIR.
“The final analysis report confirms that Anahita was over-speeding. While an initial report by Mercedez-Benz stated that the car was at 100 kmph till five seconds before the collision, the final report states that she hit the brakes 3.5 seconds before the impact, after which the speed dropped to 89 kmph. As a result of this, Mistry and Jehangir, who were in the rear passenger seats, collided hard with the backrests of the front seats, leading to severe injuries,” said Balasaheb Patil, superintendent of police.
The report, added Patil, further stated that Anahita had not fastened her seat belt properly, establishing further negligence on her part—she had only drawn one strap of the seat belt around her shoulder and left the pelvic strap unfastened.
Darius’ statement, recorded on Tuesday night at his Mumbai residence, revealed that Anahita was driving in the third lane and there was another vehicle in front of theirs. When it suddenly swerved into the second lane, Anahita tried doing the same but found her path obstructed by a truck plying alongside the Mercedes-Benz.
“As per traffic rules, the third lane is reserved for heavy vehicles and the second lane can be used by them to overtake other vehicles with due precautions. Light vehicles can only travel in the first lane and may use the second lane if needed but only after ensuring that it is safe to do so. Anahita was in violation of the rules, as she was driving well beyond the speed limit in the third lane,” said Patil.
The speed limit at the stretch of the NH 48 where the accident occurred is 90 kmph, while on the bridge just before the spot, it is 40 kmph, said officers.
Based on all these factors, the Kasa police station on Saturday registered an FIR against Anahita for causing death and injury as well as endangering the life and personal safety of others due to rash and negligent driving. The FIR invokes relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code, including Section 279 (rash driving) and 304A (causing death by negligence), as well as relevant sections of the Motor Vehicles Act and the Motor Vehicle Driving Regulations. Section 304A of the Indian Penal Code prescribes imprisonment of up to two years or a fine or both.
“The further course of action will be decided after Anahita is discharged from hospital and interrogated,” said Patil.