Drunk driving case: Janhavi Gadkar gets bail after 58 days in jail

The Sessions Court yesterday granted bail to corporate lawyer Janhavi Gadkar on a surety of Rs 30,000. Gadkar had spent 58 days in jail following her arrest in a drink driving case that claimed two lives in the wee hours on June 10. Her bail plea was rejected twice earlier on June 10 and July 24.

Janhavi Gadkar hugs her sister in the SUV. They left minutes after her bail from the Byculla jail yesterday. Pic/Shadab Khan
Janhavi Gadkar hugs her sister in the SUV. They left minutes after her bail from the Byculla jail yesterday. Pic/Shadab Khan

Additional Sessions Judge Sanjay V Patil granted bail after hearing arguments of the prosecution and defence. But before granting bail, he laid down four conditions before Gadkar’s lawyer: she should visit the police station as and when required for the investigation, she should co-operate during further investigation, she should not tamper with prosecution’s witnesses, and must not leave India without the court’s permission.

The judge observed that Gadkar being a woman had a special status as far as issuance of bail was concerned. He even asserted that investigations were almost over in this case and the grounds on which the prosecution was opposing bail were not appealing.

Family support
While Gadkar remained in Byculla Jail during the proceedings, it was her mother Sudha, a retired senior officer at BEST, who was present in the court. She appeared relieved after her daughter was granted bail. Gadkar was released from the jail, after the completion of the necessary paperwork, around 6:50 pm.

Her mother, sister, estranged husband and lawyers received her and left for Chembur in an SUV. As usual, Gadkar had covered her face with a red dupatta before exiting the jail. A source from the jail said, “Her behaviour in the jail was normal.

Her family, especially her mother, would visit her often. She (Gadkar) was always hopeful about getting bail and was waiting for it from a long time.” A police official claimed that her exit created a bit of stir, as the SUV in which she left was brought onto the jail premises.

The official claimed that protocol forbids entrance of any private vehicle on the jail premises. He, however, quickly pointed out that it could be a strategy worked out by the jail and Nagpada police officials for security reasons.

For and against
While pushing for her bail, Gadkar’s lawyers argued that no purpose would be served by keeping her in jail as the crucial part of the police investigation had concluded. Opposing her bail plea, the prosecution argued that it would send a wrong message if she was released on bail.

The police also claimed that Gadkar was involved in accidents prior to the June 10 incident and she was likely to repeat the offence if released. However, the judge refused to accept their arguments. Senior Police Inspector Dilip Raut from RCF police station said they would be filing the chargesheet in the case today.

The case
In the wee hours of June 10, Gadkar rammed her Audi into a taxi on the Eastern Freeway, resulting in the death of two persons including the taxi driver and one of the passengers. She was allegedly drunk at the time of the accident. The deceased were identified as Mohammed Abdul Sayyad (55) and Mohammed Salim Sabuwala (50).

Conditions set for bail
>> Gadkar should visit police station as and when required 
>> She should co-operate during further investigation
>> She should not tamper with prosecution’s witnesses 
>> Must not leave India without the court’s permission

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