Mumbai accident: Janhavi Gadkar is also a victim, says lawyer

Corporate lawyer Janhavi Gadkar’s advocate argued against the police’s application asking for her custody for a third time, claiming cops had got enough time for investigations; she has been remanded in judicial custody till June 26

Advocate Janhavi Gadkar, whose drunken driving last week resulted in the deaths of two people, has been remanded in judicial custody till June 26. Gadkar was presented before the Kurla Magistrate Court yesterday.

Mumbai drunk-driving accident: After whisky, lawyer had beer at Irish House

Janhavi Gadkar was remanded in judicial custody till June 26. Pic/PTI
Janhavi Gadkar was remanded in judicial custody till June 26. Pic/PTI

Gadkar was brought to court at around 4.30 pm for her third remand hearing. She was first remanded in police custody till Wednesday; her second remand was in police custody till Friday. The prosecution sought police custody for the 35-year-old, on the grounds that they wanted to ascertain further details about Gadkar’s deadly journey that night and if there was anyone with her in her Audi Q3.

Police claimed their investigations had found that Gadkar had visited Irish House, a pub at Kala Ghoda, after having six pegs of whisky at Hotel Marine Plaza, and allegedly consumed drinks at the pub as well. Requesting police custody, they wanted to question her if there was anyone else with her at the pub. If so, they also wanted to take that person’s statement.

Mumbai hit-and-run case: Jahanvi Gadkar sent to 14-day judicial custody

Her lawyer, Mahesh Sabnis, however, argued in court that Gadkar had cooperated with the police during the whole investigation and that the police had had “too much” time to interrogate her. “Last time, they had asked for police custody saying they wanted to know what she was doing between 10 pm and 12 midnight. Now they want police custody to know the occupants of the car,” Sabnis said.

He further said cops had got “enough” time to question the accused and that, despite cooperating she was not getting the treatment she needed. According to the police’s first application for remand, Gadkar had no injury marks. The second remand application, however, states that she has a fractured hand, the defence lawyer said.

“Just because she is an accused doesn’t mean she should be ignored. She is also a victim of the accident. She is in pain. Janhavi has given her side. Now it is up to the police to investigate,” Sabnis told the court.

Gadkar was seen hiding her face with a dupatta during the hearing, and even broke down into tears while proceedings were on.

Mumbai drunk-driving accident: I had whisky for fun, says advocate

Her mother was also present in court. After hearing both sides, Judge Richa D Kedekar told the police to inform the court in detail how far the investigation had come. “You should mention each and every day’s details in the case diary and tell the court about it,” she told the cops, adding, “How will I know what investigation has been done and on what basis they have been done?”

She then sent Gadkar to judicial custody till June 26, immediately after which her lawyer filed a bail application. The judge has given cops time till June 15 to reply to the application.

'Case should be non-bailable'
Nouman Sabuwala, the teenage survivor of the ghastly accident on the Eastern Freeway, expressed his unhappiness at Gadkar getting judicial custody.

Also read: No humanity in Mumbai, says boy who lost father

Nouman Sabuwala
Nouman Sabuwala

He was also present in court yesterday. Speaking to mid-day, Nouman said, “I want this case to be non-bailable; that woman (Gadkar) shouldn’t get bail at all. I have lost my father because of her and if she gets the bail, it will be another shock for me.

At least my family will live with the satisfaction that she is in jail. My mother didn’t even know she had lost her husband; we informed her on Thursday. After her condition improved, she was shifted from the ICU to the general ward of Saifee Hospital. My sisters are still recovering.”

Calling Gadkar a “high-profile” woman, Nouman felt she would get bail. “I wish she had got police custody, so that she wouldn’t have been able to apply for bail.” Police are still waiting to record the statements of the injured members of the Sabuwala family.

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