Despite actress Bhagyashree's claims that her driver did it, Mumbai Police name her as accused in 2016 hit-and-run case
It's official - it was actress Bhagyashree, and not her driver, who was behind the wheel in a road accident that occurred in November 2016, where a Santacruz entrepreneur was injured, says a charge sheet filed in court by the Santacruz police. This comes nearly five months after a case was filed by Mohammed Tausif Shaikh (30), who suffered a fracture in his leg after Bhagyashree's Skoda rammed into his two-wheeler after jumping a red light.
In an exclusive story dated February 28, mid-day had reported how the actress and her husband, Himalaya Dasani, played the 'driver-did-it' card to get her off the hook. However, in his complaint, Shaikh had stated that Bhagyashree's husband had admitted to him that she was driving the car.
Bhayashree and husband Himalaya Dasani. File pic
This was also backed by the police investigation. "We found that the actress was driving the vehicle, and not her driver. We identified a few eyewitnesses, who corroborated the same. Hence, Bhagyashree has been named as the accused in the charge sheet," Shantanu Pawar, senior inspector at Santacruz police station told mid-day.
Victim Mohammed Tausif Shaikh
Cops have charged her under Sections 279 (rash driving or riding on a public way) and 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) of the IPC.
Shaikh, who supplies medical equipment to hospitals, did not lodge a complaint for over a month after the accident occurred on November 2, 2016, on SV Road in Santacruz (West). This was after Himalaya had offered to pay for his treatment if he didn't go to the police. It was at this point, Shaikh says in his FIR, that Himalaya allegedly admitted to him that his wife was the one behind the wheel.
Cops claimed that they didn't probe Shaikh's allegations about Himalaya offering to pay for the medical expenses and only investigated the accident.
On November 2, 2016, Shaikh was waiting at a signal when Bhagyashree's white Skoda jumped a red light and crashed into his two-wheeler. Shaikh fell to the ground and was knocked unconscious. "After regaining consciousness, I saw the actress getting out from the driver's side of the car; she was in a state of panic. She walked towards me, but stopped before she could approach me, as locals had rushed to my help. An auto driver helped move me to the side of the road," Shaikh said. The actress then drove away, leaving Shaikh to get to a hospital on his own. However, her husband, along with a friend, visited him at the hospital and offered to pay his medical bills if he did not lodge a complaint. "They initially bore the expenses at the hospital, but later refused to even speak to me. They avoided my calls to steer clear of further expenses. Their promise was made to fool me. So, I filed a case against them," said Shaikh, who had to undergo a surgery. He eventually lodged a complaint on December 19, 2016. The actress, in her statement, had denied being behind the wheel, and Himalaya told mid-day that Shaikh was an extortionist.
Driver wasn't at the spot
A police officer, on condition of anonymity, said the contention of the accused is that the driver was behind the wheel. Both the actress and her driver have stated to the police that the driver was behind the wheel. However, the police's investigation revealed that the driver was not even at the spot of the accident, let alone behind the wheel, and witnesses, too, have confirmed this. In this case, the police, which claimed that it's a case of non-compoundable offence. Cops said the incident was not captured on CCTVs. Despite repeated calls by mid-day, the actress was not available for comment.
>> Causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others
>> Rash driving on a public way