Cyrus Mistry death: PIL seeking culpable homicide charge against doc dismissed


In the Cyrus Mistry’s death case, the Bombay High Court on Tuesday has dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) which sought culpable homicide charge against the gynaecologist Dr Anahita Pandole who was driving the car.

As per the PIL, Pandole has been accused in the death of Cyrus Mistry as she was driving the latter’s car when the accident took place near Mumbai on 4 September 2022.

Balasaheb Patil, Superintendent of Police, Palghar on January 6 said that police had submitted 152-page evidence in the Cyrus Mistry death case.

The Palghar Police in Maharashtra had registered a case against Dr Pandole for negligence and rash driving on the day of the accident.

Petitioner Sandesh Jedhe, who claimed to be a self-spirited citizen concerned about road safety, in his PIL sought a direction to Kasa police station in Palghar district to invoke section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the Indian Penal Code, against the accused in the accident case.

Mistry (54) and Jehangir Pandole were killed on September 4 when their luxury car hit a divider on a bridge on Surya river on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway. Dr Anahita Pandole (55), who was at the wheel, and her husband Darius Pandole were seriously injured.

According to Palghar Police, Mistry was travelling from Ahmedabad to Mumbai when his car hit the divider. There were four people in the car. Two died on the spot, including Mistry, while the other two were shifted to hospital.

The car in which Cyrus Mistry was travelling lost control due to overspeeding and rammed into the divider said Palghar Police then.

Mistry, who was the sixth chairman of Tata Sons, was ousted from the position in October 2016. He had taken over as the chairman in December 2012 after Ratan Tata announced his retirement. N Chandrasekaran later took over as Executive Chairman of Tata Sons.

Earlier on 10 January, while hearing the PIL, a division bench of acting Chief Justice S V Gangapurwala and Justice Sandeep Marne sought to know Jedhe’s locus standi in the case and how the high court can do the job of a magistrate.

“This is a job of a magistrate. It is the magistrate who can decide what charges to put. You (petitioner) want the high court to do the functions of the magistrate? What is your locus standi? How are you concerned in this case?” the court had asked. 

Jedhe’s advocate Sadiq Ali claimed that the petitioner had evidence that Anahita Pandole was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident. 

In his petition, the petitioner had refered to a CCTV footage allegedly indicating that Anahita Pandole had been consuming liquor at a café on the previous night (September 3, 2022) before she drove the vehicle carrying Mistry, among others.

The petitioner had further claimed that Darius Pandole had prior knowledge about Anahita’s alleged aggressive driving because of which the vehicle is stated to have been slapped with seven traffic challans for over speeding and jumping signals.

(With inputs from agencies)

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