The 66-year-old driver is accused of negligence as he took a heavy vehicle into the first lane on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway; the Swift car driver will also be booked
While the blame game for the Mumbai-Pune Expressway accident, which claimed 17 lives and injured 43 people, will never end, the cops launched an official investigation into the matter by first registering a case of rash driving and negligence against the 66-year-old deceased bus driver, who rammed the vehicle against two cars. They will also book the driver of the Swift, as he had parked his car in the first lane.
Iqbal Shaikh’s license which was renewed in February
The driver, identified as Iqbal Shaikh, was a resident of Satara and had been working with Nikhil Travels for the last 10 years. Sanjay Bajare, Senior Police Inspector, New Panvel police station, said, “We have booked Iqbal Shaikh for rash driving and during the investigation we found that he first got his heavy vehicle license in 1973. Since the rule says every driver, after turning 60, has to get his license renewed every three years, he just got that done in February. This means he was fit to drive. We also checked if this was a case of drunken driving but have found no evidence yet and are awaiting his medical reports.”
Iqbal is survived by his three daughters and a son, who are married and live in Satara. Sikander Shaikh (55), Iqbal’s younger brother, who collected his body from the police, told mid-day, “Iqbal, who has been a driver all his life, was a respected person in Satara. I rushed to the hospital as soon as my family told me about the accident after watching it on the news. This is a major tragedy and if the police have to book him for rash driving, they must also book the Swift driver for parking in the middle of the road.”
Iqbal has been booked under Sections 304A (causing death by negligence), 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life), 338 (causing grievous hurt), 297 (rash driving) and 427 (mischief causing damage) of IPC and Section 184 (driving dangerously) of the Motor Vehicle Act.
Bajare also said they have written to Khalapur Toll Booth requesting them for the CCTV footage of the accident. “We have asked the toll booth authorities for the CCTV footage of Sunday morning as the bus being a heavy vehicle should not have entered the first lane. Also, we will check if the cars had cut lanes. We have also recorded statements of most of the surviving bus passengers,” added Bajare.