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Worli hit-and-run: Accused’s dad gets bail

Updated on: 09 July,2024 06:21 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Apoorva Agashe |

Court tells police to apply correct sections for destroying evidence instead of culpable homicide, as father was not behind the wheel

Worli hit-and-run: Accused’s dad gets bail

Rajesh Shah at the court in Mumbai. Pics/Ashish Raje

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Worli hit-and-run: Accused’s dad gets bail

Shiv Sena (Shinde faction) deputy leader Rajesh Shah has been granted bail, while driver Rajrishi Bidawat has been remanded in one-day police custody. When they appeared in court in Sewri on Monday, the court criticised the Worli police for errors in their remand copy. Initially, Shah was charged under Section 105 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), but the court ruled this section didn’t apply as Shah was not at the crime scene. “Section 105 is not applicable to Shah,” the court said.

The prosecution stated, “We reviewed the CCTV footage, which clearly shows Mihir (the absconding accused) and Bidawat removing the woman from the bonnet, swapping seats, and then Bidawat, while reversing, ran over Kaveri Nakhwa,” said the police in court while seeking custody.

The BMW car that was involved in the accident. Pic/Ashish Raje
The BMW car that was involved in the accident. Pic/Ashish Raje

The Worli police were then instructed to revise the remand copy. Rajesh Shah was charged with destruction of evidence, and Bidawat with culpable homicide not amounting to murder. “The CCTV footage shows that Bidawat ran over the woman, so he has been granted one day of police custody,” the court added.

Rajesh Shah had planned to blame the driver for the initial accident where the woman was dragged by the Sena leader’s son. However, his plan to frame the driver failed due to the driver’s confession and CCTV footage. "The father told Bidawat to take the blame, but the driver confessed that he was not driving, and CCTV footage showed Mihir and Bidawat had swapped seats," said the police on condition of anonymity.

According to the police, Mihir Shah remains untraceable, and a manhunt has been launched to apprehend him. A lookout circular has also been issued to prevent him from leaving the country. Officials said he was last seen in Goregaon, where he turned off his phone. About 10-12 teams are working to locate him.

The Worli police will now rely on “circumstantial evidence” to prove that Mihir Shah was drunk on the day of the incident, as they failed to arrest him within 24 hours. This delay makes it difficult to detect alcohol in his blood.

A damaged two-wheeler (right) that the victim was on. Pic/PTI
A damaged two-wheeler (right) that the victim was on. Pic/PTI

"Even after 24 hours, the police will need to take blood and urine samples to check for traces of alcohol. It is crucial to determine whether the alcohol was metabolised or if the test results were genuinely negative," said Shailesh Mohite, dean of Cooper Hospital.

Early Sunday morning, Mihir Shah, 24, allegedly hit a couple near Atria Mall in Worli at around 5.30 am. The couple landed on the bonnet of Shah’s BMW. While Pradeep Nakhwa, 50, fell off, his wife, Kaveri Nakhwa, 50, stayed on the bonnet.

“Kaveri was dragged about 1.5 kilometres before they swapped seats,” said the police. The driver then switched the seats and ran over Kaveri while reversing the car, and the duo abandoned the car in Kalanagar, Bandra.

The duo parted ways at Kalanagar. “Bidawat went to Borivali, and Mihir went to his friend Khushi’s place in Goregaon. After resting, Mihir’s sister picked him up. Mihir has turned off his phone and is now untraceable,” the police said.

According to the police, Mihir’s mother and sister are also untraceable. Shah had been drinking at Global Tapasi Bar with friends until 1.15 am, then dropped them off in Borivli. At around 3 am, he left for Marine Drive and collided with the couple’s scooter.

Rajesh Shah and Rajrishi Bidawat attempted to tow abandoned car in Kalanagar. “After Bidawat went to Borivali, Rajesh and Bidawat came to Kalanagar to tow the car. We detained them and later apprehended them,” police added.

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