Ahmedabad bridge car crash: Police file chargesheet within a week; includes luxury car maker’s report

The Ahmedabad traffic police on Thursday filed a 1,700-page chargesheet against 20-year-old Tathya Patel, who allegedly ploughed his SUV into a crowd on a city flyover on July 20, killing nine persons and injuring at least 13 others.

The chargesheet, filed in the district court within a week of the incident, contains among other things a report sent by the luxury car maker Jaguar, which suggested that the car was over-speeding when it rammed into the crowd, a top city police official said.

The chargesheet also contains statements of around 180 witnesses, a DNA report to establish that Tathya Patel was driving the Jaguar SUV, said Ahmedabad Commissioner of Police Premveer Singh.

It also comprises statements given to the magistrate by eight witnesses under section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and reports of the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) as well as the Regional Transport Office (RTO), he said.

Nine persons, including a constable, were killed when the speeding Jaguar car driven by Patel ploughed into a crowd gathered at an accident site on the ISKCON bridge in the early hours of July 20, police said.

Patel, who was also injured in the incident, was arrested the same day.

Talking to reporters, police commissioner Singh said, “To establish our case, we have also attached a report sent by the car company, which suggested that the car was over-speeding when it rammed into the crowd.”

“A video of the incident, recorded by a person on the bridge, was sent to the FSL and it also proved that the car was over-speeding,” he said.

He added that the chargesheet also mentions how Tathya Patel was involved in similar cases of rash driving in the past and First Information Reports (FIRs) were also registered against him.

Tathya Patel, a college student, was arrested on the same day under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and the Motor Vehicles Act.

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His father Pragnesh Patel, who rushed to the spot after learning about the incident, was also arrested for threatening people on the flyover. Both are currently in judicial custody.

A common FIR against the father-son duo was registered at the SG Highway Traffic Police Station on July 20 under IPC sections 304, 279 (driving or riding a vehicle in a negligent manner), 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life), 506 (criminal intimidation) and the Motor Vehicles Act.

A constable and a Home Guard jawan, who reached the spot after the first accident of a collision involving two vehicles – a Thar and a truck – were among those killed in the incident, they said.

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